HONG KONG (HedgeWorld.com)--ABN AMRO and Eureka Hedge Advisors launched a benchmark index for Asian hedge funds yielding a new gauge for Asia Pacific hedge fund performance.
The new index measures the performance of open-ended funds with at least US$40 million under management. It is divided into two sub-indexes: Asia Pacific and Japan.
"Absolute return funds measure their performance against cash, but investors still want to know how an individual fund is doing against its peer group," John Hetherington, director of research at Eureka, said in a statement.
There are 51 funds in the index, sampled from a total population of 135 funds. The Japan index has a collection of 26 Japan-only funds. More than 75% are long/short equity funds, with the remainder consisting of convertible bond arbitrage, fixed income, global macro, market neutral/relative value and multi-strategy. The funds in the index total US$7.8 billion in assets under management, according to Eureka's website, www.eurekahedge.com.
Eureka has estimated that about 170 fund managers are pursuing investment strategies in the Asia Pacific region with a combined US$14 billion at the end of 2001.
In April, the most recent data available, the index was up 0.12% and lagged the MSCI Equity Asia Pacific Free Index by 3.48%. Historically, the data show that hedge funds as a group offer steady incremental returns. Asia Pacific hedge funds increased 14% in value from Dec. 2000 and April 2002, while Japanese hedge funds gained 11% in the same period. These numbers compare favorably with the MSCI for Asia Pacific and Japan, which had declines of 16% and 25%, respectively.