LONDON (HedgeWorld.com)–While most hedge funds have had a flat first quarter, some Asian hedge fund strategies fared well during the period, with HSBC AsiaHedge Composite Index posting a 2.2% gain.

In comparison with Nikkei stock market, which dropped 0.6% in March, Japanese long/short equity hedge funds (US$) were up 0.7%, making them the top-performing Asian hedge fund strategy, according to HSBC officials. Through the end of the first quarter, the strategy was up 2.89%.

Asian strategies ex-Japan did better than hedge funds including Japan, with a loss last month of only 1.9%. Over the same time period, Asia including Japanese hedge fund strategies fell 2.2%. Index analysts said the “directionless, dynamics-driven markets” are not good for the health of many hedge funds.

Late last year Japanese hedge fund inflows slowed down a bit, but now the strategy may pick up additional steam with the Japan long/short equity index (yen) picking up 3% return for the year through March 31. Australian long/short equity funds may be less popular, but that HSBC index was up 2.6% over the same time period.

Emerging markets managers still are up 1.35% for the year through March 31, although they gave up 2.07% in March.

The HSBC AsiaHedge indexes calculate the median returns each month and measure the performance of hedge funds in Japan, Asia ex-Japan, Asia including Japan, and Australia.

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.