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9 Jun 2009

AlternativeSoft Teams Up With Eurekahedge & Crédit Agricole Structured Asset Management

AlternativeSoft has forged agreements with Crédit Agricole Structured Asset Management (CASAM) and Eurekahedge to provide all trial users of AlternativeSoft with free trials of the CASAM CISDM and the Eurekahedge Global Hedge Funds databases.

“We're very pleased to build our relationship with AlternativeSoft in a way that will meaningfully strengthen Crédit Agricole Structured Asset Management's presence in the alternative investment software sector. We are happy to offer AlternativeSoft and their potential clients the CASAM Hedge database for their 15 day software trial" said Jeff Lopez, Deputy CEO of Credit Agricole Structured Asset Management Advisers LLC.

"AlternativeSoft offers hedge fund investors the ability to perform complex portfolio optimisations in an efficient manner. We are delighted to be able to offer to these investors our multiple Eurekahedge databases during their 15 days free software trial. Doing so will give the opportunity to experience the software and the breadth of our database at the same time." said Eurekahedge CEO Alexander Mearns.

“AlternativeSoft is a user friendly quantitative portfolio construction software which focuses on extreme negative events. Our potential clients will have access to 13’000 hedge funds and this for free during the 15 days software trial. The trial of our software becomes effortless. The user can essentially construct and optimise their portfolios within minutes of opening the software, even in the 15 days free software trial.” said Laurent Favre, CEO of AlternativeSoft.

AlternativeSoft offers analytical software solutions and is a Swiss registered company with offices in Zurich and London. It is a global company providing a platform for portfolio construction, hedge fund selection, tactical asset allocation and hedge fund replication dedicated to fund of funds, banks and institutional investors. Their software enables investors to analyse numerous hedge funds, funds of funds to help construct portfolios which minimise extreme negative returns.

Credit Suisse/Tremont Hedge Fund Index Estimated to Finish Up 3.61% In May

Hedge fund managers posted positive returns across all major strategies in May except for Managed Futures. Returns were driven by favorable investment conditions across equity, credit and commodities markets. India led the positive trend in Emerging Markets, with the Sensex index surging 17.3% within less than a minute of the announcement on May 18 that the Congress Party garnered a comfortable majority coalition in the general elections.

Industrial production numbers were up in many parts of Asia, with factories in Japan raising output by the largest monthly margin in nearly 60 years, and the Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) in China expanding for a third month to a seasonally adjusted 53.1 (a reading above 50 indicates an expansion). Some managers remained cautious, however, with the view that a switch from a government-led recovery to a consumer-led recovery may face hurdles such as the continuing rise of unemployment in many parts of the world, rising savings rates (particularly in the US), overhangs in vacant housing, as well as assorted weak macro data in Europe.

With spreads tightening and returns strong across the credit spectrum, relative value players such as Convertible Arbitrage and Fixed Income Arbitrage were among the best performers. With fixed income markets apparently unfazed by the General Motors bankruptcy, investment grade financials had the strongest performance, but investment grade industrials, utilities and high yield also had a solid month, as did leveraged loans.

Global Macro has continued to have the longest positive streak of all the strategies in the index for the 7th consecutive month, starting in November 2008. Managers found opportunities in currency trades, fixed income, commodities, as well as tactically trading equities. Managed Futures performance improved over April, but posted a fifth consecutive month of negative returns. Long/Short Equity Managers continued to have wide dispersions of returns, with some managers adding to their long exposures and tactically harvesting returns from the rallies, while others maintained their defensive positioning, citing an absence of fundamental drivers for a strong v-shaped recovery.

Interest Re-engaged in African and MENA Hedge Funds

International investors are coming back to the African and MENA region, hedge fund manager SilkInvest said in their latest equities update, "Few international investors are actually invested so far, however, it now looks like more investors are getting off the bench."

It was reported that roughly 40% of the volume of the Dubai stock exchange was on the back of international buyers, and after last week’s big advances in the MENA markets, the headlines in the local papers have the look & feel of optimism again, SilkInvest said.

Across the African continent, not all markets have gained back positive momentum. Nigeria has been one of the best performing markets lately, despite ending the week in negative numbers. Ghana and Kenya continue to struggle YTD, while South Africa, Mauritius, Egypt and Tunisia further added to their upside.

"We are happy to say that we have been well positioned in the right markets and sectors. More than ever is asset allocation and stock picking of key importance for successful investing in this region." Baldwin Berges, partner at SilkInvest, said. "There are still many undervalued opportunities at current low PE ratios which are unsustainably low both in the MENA and African regions. We therefore believe there is still considerable upside until the right valuation levels that reflect the solid earnings growth many companies enjoy have been reached."

BlackRock In Talks For Largest Global Hedge Fund Transaction On Record

BlackRock, Inc. confirmed that negotiations are ongoing with U.K.’s third-largest bank, Barclays Bank plc, about the potential purchase of Barclays Global Investors (BGI), including the iShares business.

“The discussions are not yet concluded and there are a number of significant open issues which could affect the nature and terms of any transaction,” Barclays said in a statement.

BlackRock's BGI buyout will break its own record in a hedge fund transaction, when in 2006 BlackRock took over Merrill Lynch's asset management business for $8.5 billion. The unconfirmed selling price is $12 billion to $13 billion. Other contenders for Barclays Global Investors include the Bank of New York Mellon and some Kuwaiti sovereign wealth funds, among others.