Singapore based Eureka Hedge Advisors has launched the first comprehensive directory of Asian hedge funds detailing 162 funds managed in nine countries. The directory focuses exclusively on the Asia/Pacific region including Japan and Australia and gives details of fund size, strategy, fund manager profiles, fees, hurdle rates and high water marks, plus detailed charts of fund performance and tables of statistics.

Managing director of Eureka, Richard Armstrong, says his team of researchers visited each of the fund managers individually to gather the data. "The reason we decided to publish the book is because when we set up our advisory business we needed to get information on the Asian hedge fund industry and couldn't find it." He says the fund managers, who have a reputation for being secretive, were happy to divulge information once Eureka contacted them.

To date, Eureka's 200-page manual, sponsored by primebrokers UBS Warburg, is the only directory on the market. Bank of Bermuda is rumoured to be compiling a similar almanac but no publication date has been set.

Commenting on the launch Armstrong says: "The directory will be an essential reference guide for anyone with an interest in the Asian hedge fund industry and will help to bridge the gap between fund managers and investors."

He estimates that approximately $14 billion is invested in Asian hedge funds and that figure will grow by 35% this year. "January and February saw substantial inflows into Japan long/short strategies." The reason for this, he says, is a general shortage of hedge funds covering the Japanese market which offers some good investment opportunities. "Japan has lots of large and mid-cap stocks that you can long and a good selection of identifiable shorts."

Eureka expects an estimated 50 new Asian strategy funds will hit the market this year. "In our view a supply demand imbalance exists with investors and asset allocators chasing few good managers."

Armstrong's advisory group was established in 2001 by a team of former stockbrokers. Eureka plans to offer advisory and marketing assistance to existing hedge funds while aiding prospective managers in establishing their own funds. The directory represents its information-type product offerings. "Starting in April we will be sending out monthly updates of the directory via email," says Armstrong.