Hedge funds globally are managing less money, according to London-based data provider HedgeFund Intelligence. By the end of June, the estimated sum under management stood at $1.67 trillion, a fall of 8.5% in 2009 to date.
The high-water mark for hedge fund assets came in mid-2008, when the number hit $2.7 trillion, but it's been receding ever since. With a median 5% return from hedge funds globally in the first half of 2009, that means a big chunk of the decline in assets is attributable to cash being withdrawn, rather than lost in investment.
Another fact to emerge is the reduction in the number of hedge funds that are believed to manage in excess of $1 billion. That number has fallen from 395 at the peak of the market in 2008 to 291 today. Certainly, AsianInvestor hasn't been running many headlines lately about billion-dollar launches, even if those funds mentioned during the halcyon days might have been slightly exaggerating.
Nevertheless, according to HedgeFund Intelligence, Asia is doing better than elsewhere, with Hong Kong accounting for eight billion-dollar hedge funds and Singapore hosting a quartet.
Of the global total of hedge fund assets under management, $118 billion or 7% is accounted for by Asian funds -- that is, Asia-Pacific funds managed anywhere from Asia to London to New York.