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21 Oct 2009

Speculation Over Hedge Fund Manager's Downfall In Full Swing

HedgeCo Archives - The Galleon scandal is raging full force, with Raj Rajaratnam's global hedge funds under a microscope. Supervising the case is U.S. District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who's ruling on the Merrill Lynch/BofA case, earned him the nickname 'Judge Dread' on Wall Street, according to The Post.

Reuters reported the Sri Lankan stock market .CSE tumbling more than 4%, as investors withdrew money. Galleon Asia is keeping its $500 million AUM Asia hedge fund liquid, as they also await a possible mass exodus.

The CEO of the Asia hedge fund, David Lau, said the Asia fund is not under investigation by the SEC at the time. He said the fund has reduced leverage in the past few days but there has been no request for redemptions as yet, according to CNBC. The Asia fund, which runs a long/short equity and macro strategy, has risen over 15% since the start of the year.

In the USA's largest hedge fund insider-trading scheme, Raj Rajaratnam was taken into custody in New York on Oct. 16, 2009.

Silk Road Income Fund Launch

HedgeCo Blogs - Baldwin Berges, Head of Business Development at Silk Invest, announced the launch of a new fronteir hedge fund which invests in sovereign and corporate debt securities across Africa, The Middle East and Central Asia.

"It very likely that we are at the advent of what could be dubbed “The mother of all carry trades” and this time it is not only coming from Asia but also from Europe and the USA." Berges said, "Developed world government debt yields are too low and commodities are looking mighty expensive."

"We have already seen this trade unfolding in the corporate bond arena, investors will likely continue to venture out further into the wilderness of frontier markets in search of high yields. There is very little consumer and/or corporate debt. The local banking system is reluctant to lend money or lack the experience required to evaluate the risk and therefore capital adequacy ratios in the financial sector tend to be very solid."

Hedge Fund Highlights:

Current average Yield to Maturity above 16%
Average duration of 3.4 years
High diversification: currently 65 holdings, 27 countries, 17 currencies
Luxembourg UCITSIII Fund offering weekly liquidity

Morningstar's Prelininary Third Quarter Hedge Fund Performance Report

Hedge funds are recovering rapidly in 2009, Morningstar reported in their preliminary hedge fund performance study for the third quarter of 2009 and asset flows through August 2009.

"Paced by an exceptionally strong September, hedge funds began to regain their swagger in the third quarter," said Nadia Papagiannis, Morningstar alternative investments strategist. "The road to recovery for hedge funds was paved by strong performance in riskier asset classes such as emerging markets, distressed, and small-cap securities."

But hedge funds overall haven't yet returned to their October 2007 peaks, the Morningstar 1000 Hedge Fund Index declined 25.2% through February 2009, and has only recovered 20% in the last seven months, with 11.4% to go.

Certain hedge fund strategies have set new highs, however. In September, hedge funds following global macro-economic strategies, fully recovered from 2008 losses, despite lagging the performance of other category indexes this year.