Monday 27th April 2015
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY, APRIL 24th 2015:Luc Luyet, CIIA – Senior Market Analyst AT Swissquote says that yesterday, “the SNB surprised the market by announcing that the number of sight deposit account holders that are exempt from negative interest has been reduced. This decision doesn’t change much the domestic banks’ situation as the “20 times the minimum reserve requirement” rule is still running. On the other side, the institutions associated with the Confederation, such as the pension fund of the Confederation or the pension fund of the SNB, are no longer exempt of negative interest. Consequently, only the account holders of the national social security system are still fully exempt.” - High yield debt issuance remains buoyant. Issuance volume for the week ending April 17, 2015, slowed down a bit from the previous week, but remained strong. Junk bond, or high-yield debt, issuers continued to issue bonds as yields remained favourable. High-yield debt is tracked by the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF and the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund. According to data from S&P Capital IQ/LCD, dollar-denominated bonds amounting to $10.75bn were issued across 16 transactions in the week ending April 17th. The issuance volume fell by 3.2% from the week ending April 10. Pricing was evenly spread across the week. The number of transactions fell from 18 to 16 week-over-week. Last week brought the total US dollar issuance of high-yield debt to $115.8bn in 2015 YTD, up some 15% from the same period in 2014, the bulk of which is refinancing of older debt - Moody's says EMEA auto ABS performance remained stable during the three-month period ending February 2015. The sector's average performance trend was positive in terms of delinquency ratios and cumulative losses. The 60+ day delinquencies decreased to 0.66% in February 2015 from 0.77% in February 2014, while cumulative defaults decreased to 1.06% from 1.20% over the same period. This decrease was due mainly to the good performance of the German and Dutch markets. The prepayment rate increased slightly to 13.49% in February 2015 from 13.30% a year earlier. As of February 2015, the pool balance of all outstanding rated auto ABS transactions was €27.55bn - According to Sino specialists Red Pulse, China’s State Council is considering allowing daily repatriation for QFII. Currently, RQFII enjoys T+1 repatriation while QFII is restricted to T+5. QFII is the largest channel for foreign investment into China with quota of USD150bn, however, only half of the quota is in use, like at least partly due to the five-day repatriation stipulation - Malaysia’s state pension fund will offer a Shari’a-compliant investment option for its members by 2017, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. Najib says it will create the largest Shari’a fund of its kind in the world. Malaysia has one of the world’s largest Islamic finance sectors and the authorities are keen to develop it further. They envision the industry accounting for 40% of the country’s total banking assets by 2020 compared with latest figures of around 23% released last year. The $160bn (MYR577.4bn) Employees Provident Fund (EPF) already invests about a third of its portfolio in stocks and bonds that comply with Islamic principles, which ban interest payments and pure monetary speculation. The fund reportedly hired consultants last year to study the feasibility of a state-backed pension fund focusing entirely on Shari’a-compliant investments. Additionally, local press reports says that Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional has received regulatory approval to issue a MYR1billion (around $275m) socially responsible Islamic bond - The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share on the company's outstanding common stock, an increase of 67% from the prior $0.15 per share quarterly dividend. The dividend is payable on June 26TH 2015, to shareowners of record at the close of business on June 12TH 2015 - Lazard Ltd today reported operating revenue1 of $581m for the quarter ended March 31st. Adjusted net income was $103m, or $0.77 (diluted) per share for the quarter. These results exclude a pre-tax charge of $63m relating to a debt refinancing2. Q1 2015 net income on a U.S. GAAP basis, including the pre-tax charge, was $56m, or $0.42 (diluted) per share. "Our Financial Advisory and Asset Management businesses continue their strong performance," says Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. "In the first quarter, we refinanced and repaid a portion of Lazard's long-term debt, significantly reducing our interest costs," adds Matthieu Bucaille, chief financial officer of Lazard. "Consistent with our capital management objectives, we have increased the quarterly dividend by 17%, the fifth increase in as many years." -

Asian hedge funds outperformed regional equity markets

Tuesday, 07 February 2012
Asian hedge funds outperformed regional equity markets Asian hedge funds outperformed volatile regional equity markets in 2011, marking the second consecutive year of such outperformance, according to data released by Hedge Fund Research Inc (HFR).  http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Asian hedge funds outperformed volatile regional equity markets in 2011, marking the second consecutive year of such outperformance, according to data released by Hedge Fund Research Inc (HFR). 

In a year marked by a difficult cycle of navigating steep equity market declines in Japan and Emerging Asia, the benchmark HFRX Asia with Japan Index posted a narrow gain of +0.4 percent in 4Q11 to end 2011 with a decline of -5.2 percent, mirroring the performance of the broad-based HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index and topping the Nikkei 225 and the Shanghai Composite Index by 1,200 and nearly 1,700 basis points (bps), respectively. The recently launched HFRX Korea Index posted a gain of +4.8 percent for 4Q11 and, despite declining -7.5 percent for the full calendar year, also topped the benchmark Kospi Index by nearly 350 bps for 2011.

Global investors reduced capital invested in the Asian hedge fund industry by $1.04 billion in 4Q11, the first quarterly net outflow to Asian hedge funds since 1Q10. For the full year 2011, Asian hedge funds experienced a net inflow of $6.6 billion, representing a +7.5 percent increase in total AUM in these funds, bringing total estimated capital in Asian hedge funds to $82.1 billion to conclude the year. Contrary to trends across the global hedge fund industry, two-thirds of the new capital invested in Asian hedge funds in 2011 went to Equity Hedge strategies, with Event Driven and Relative Value Arbitrage also experiencing net increases in capital. While the largest sub-strategy for Asian hedge funds continues to be Equity Hedge: Fundamental Growth, funds executing on Distressed, Market Neutral and Event Driven: Multi-Strategy have experienced capital increases, while AUM dedicated to Macro and Activist funds has declined over the past year.



The total number of Asian hedge funds has also continued to increase, ending 2011 at nearly 1,100 funds, a gain of 4 percent for the year, and growth which has been consistent across both Emerging and Developed Asia. In addition, the number of funds choosing to locate in Asia also increased for the year, with China, Singapore and Australia all showing increases, while the number located in the US declined for the year. The percentage of Asian-focused hedge funds located in China increased to 28.6 percent in the second half of 2011, while the percentage located in the US declined to 26.4 percent.

“2011 was a challenging year for Asian hedge funds not only as a function of complexities associated with Asian inflation, natural disasters and speculation on currency policy, but also as related to assessing the potential impact that the European sovereign debt crisis could have on Asian trade, financial market liquidity and currency levels,” says Kenneth  Heinz, president of HFR. “The increased proliferation of specialised, Asian-located funds executing on uncorrelated, market neutral strategies and the relative performance benefits these offer are likely to attract capital from both Asian and global investors as cyclical risk tolerance increases in 2012.”

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