A sweaty and dehydrated month was had by hedge funds in Asia during August, which was the only global hedge fund sector in the red, recording an average loss of 0.4%. Even Japan did better with a 0.66% gain. Both were at the tail end of the Eurekahedge geographical sector list for August.
That performance is being attributed to a stinker of a month in the indices in China, India and Taiwan, particularly China which swooned 21.8% during the month.
The global figures show that hedge funds had a sixth month in the black during August, with the overall index up 1.1% for the month and 13.1% for the year.
Long-biased funds have made a return of 33% in 2009, more than double the hedge fund index. However, aggregating the long-only index for 2008 and 2009, an investor would be down about 10% for the two years, doing likewise for the hedge fund index, you'd be up 2%.
So far in 2009, the star strategy is event driven with a 24% return. The top performer for August was distressed debt with a 6.2% return. Perhaps the planets are at last lining up for distressed strategies to start making some serious cash out of the crisis.
CTA/Managed futures, the strategy that finally became sexy in 2008, is at the bottom of the tables for 2009 with an average 0.51% return. Fifty of those 51 basis points were made in August.
300 new launches and 400 closures have been recorded by Eurekahedge so far this year. What is getting the service provider community aroused, however, is the pipeline of new superstar launches that they envisage for the next 12 months as new hedgie blood enters the goldfish bowl.