The Dutch pension asset manager's Asia Pacific head of real estate says his team has just had one of its busiest years ever and that 2021 is looking similarly promising.
And while the industry did enjoy net inflows from investors in the second quarter, the gain is nearly half the $1 billion gain from the first quarter, suggesting that investor interest is flagging.
As absolute-return vehicles, hedge funds are failing the test this year. Those Asia ex-Japan-focused strategies tracked by HFR have in aggregate lost -15.86% year-to-date, while Japan-only strategies have lost -7.14%, and Asia including Japan strategies are down -8.29%.
They are in aggregate doing better than benchmark indices such as the S&P500 with dividends (-11.9%), JapanÆs Nikkei 225 (-12%), IndiaÆs Sensex (-33%) and Chinese equities (-45%). But investors arenÆt paying hedge-fund fees for relative performance.
Certain strategies are flourishing: arbitrage strategies have done well, enjoying asset growth of $730 million. Multi-strategy products have gained inflows of $720 million. And the niche area of fundamental growth-equity has surged by $1.19 billion.
But event-driven strategies have seen net assets tumble by $525 million, while general equity hedge strategies (which account for over 63% of AUM and 74% of the total number of Asia-focused funds) have lost over $600 million in capital. Market-neutral equity and fundamental-value strategies together suffered capital withdrawals of $1.1 billion.
One reason for the pain among Asia-focused players is the overweening role of equity long/short strategies, at a time when favoured sectors such as macro are thin on the ground, notes Kenneth Heinz, president of HFR.
Record low borrowing costs in Australia are feeding demand for the country's real estate, with domestic and global investors raising their allocations into the sector.
Experts have a diversified view on the appeal of private assets across the region, but one thing's for certain - inflows are rising, particularly into China and the US.
Malaysia's Armed Forces Fund hires new CEO; Canada's Omers appoints Asia capital markets managing director; HSBC Asset Management creates alternatives unit, appoints CIO as its head; Bank of Singapore names global wealth head; Aware Super hires IFA head; Hong Kong names acting head for MPFA; Schroders adding to Asia ESG headcount; and more.
Asian fixed income assets – including Hong Kong dollar (HKD) bonds – are luring growing numbers of global investors who are striving for reliable and consistent returns amid macro uncertainty compounded by rising inflation and rates, according to HSBC Asset Management.