The benchmark Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index was up 0.88% in July, while the MSCI World Index was up 1.64% over the month. Total assets under management increased by US$10.1 billion during the month as the sector witnessed a performance-based increase of US$4.7 billion while registering net asset inflows of US$5.4 billion. The total size of the industry now stands at US$2.32 trillion.
The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index grew 0.88% in July while underlying markets, as represented by the MSCI World Index, gained 1.64% over the same period. Among regional mandates, Latin American managers led the table, up 3.68% during the month followed by Asia ex-Japan managers who were up 2.45%. Across strategies, long/short equities hedge funds led the table with gains of 1.15% followed by CTA/managed futures hedge funds which were up 1.08%.
Hedge funds extended their gains for the year and were up 0.88% during the month of July based on preliminary numbers. Meanwhile, underlying markets, as represented by the MSCI AC World Index (Local), were up 1.64% over the same period. Returns were largely positive across the board with all key regional mandates in the green as emerging market mandates (excluding Eastern Europe & Russia) delivering the best returns. The US economy continues to march along at a steady pace, with a weakening USD and the gain in oil prices spurring inflation expectations and making a stronger case for a Fed rate hike later this year.
Investors are increasingly beginning to incorporate ethical considerations into their investment decisions, a development which has given rise to the environmental, social, governance (ESG) framework over the years. Despite the implementation challenges which arise when screening investments against acceptable environmental, social and corporate governance themes, the trend towards a more conscientious approach to investment is here to stay, especially from the perspective of large institutional investors.
The global hedge fund industry is on track to post a solid recovery in 2017as underlying markets trend upwards against the backdrop of subdued volatility in asset prices. The Trump presidency which was expected to spook market sentiment has been surprisingly constrained so far with regards to delivering on the campaign agenda, in particular policies pertaining to global trade. Rather, expectations of a fiscal expansion in the US lend support to markets early during the year while his first tour as President of the United States helped calm nerves overseas, barring the odd-handshakes and other presidential antics. Risk appetite generally improved during the year, with equity long bias strategies posting double digit gains whilst returns for macro and systematic managed futures strategies languished in a low volatility regime.
Emerging market mandated hedge funds have delivered exceptionally strong gains this year – the asset weighted US dollar denominated Mizuho-Eurekahedge Emerging Market Index is up 7.59% for the year, with underlying equity long/short hedge funds for the index gaining 9.75% in the seven months through July. Hedge funds running dedicated exposure to India, China and Latin America have all posted double-digit gains year-to-date and have been the key contributors to the stellar returns posted by emerging market mandated hedge funds.
Eurekahedge’s global hedge funds infographic sums up the industry as at August 2017. Find out more about global hedge funds' assets under management (AUM), asset flows into strategic and regional mandates, strategy returns, fund size and geographic AUM, head office locations and the best and worst performances of the year.