The evidence is mounting that Asia will provide a boost to hedge fund jobs and investment, moving forward. Bloomberg reports that assets managed by Asian hedge funds may exceed $180 billion in the next 12 to 18 months. The region’s faster-pace growth is attracting more investors, particularly as debt issues plague both U.S. and European economies.
Total hedge fund assets for Asia stood at $134 billion as of June 30, 2011. Compare that to just $14 billion in 2000, according to data supplied by Asian research firm Eurekahedge Pte. The region now sports more than 1,235 funds, an eight-fold increase in the same time period.
Easing of regulatory restrictions, lighter tax burdens, plus investors hungry to capture the economic expansion in Asia have spurred the popularity of hedge funds in the region. Nevertheless, Asia still only represents about 10 percent of the global hedge fund industry, leaving plenty of room for further growth.
“The Asian hedge funds industry continues to be one of the most exciting and fast-moving sectors of the global hedge fund industry,” according to a Eurekahedge report. “The region continues to develop at a fast pace with new funds starting up and employing an increasing number of different strategies and geographical mandates.”
Long-short equities funds account for 44 percent of Asia’s hedge funds, followed by multi-strategy funds at 15 percent. Overall, Asia ex-Japan funds have led the pack with the best annualized returns, up 13 percent since December 1999.
Eurekahedge also sponsors the Asian Hedge Fund Awards, which honors both established talent and up-and-coming stars from the Asian hedge fund industry. The 2011 Awards took place at a black-tie gala dinner on May 20, 2011, held at the Fairmont Hotel in Singapore. You can see the list of 2011 winners at Eurekahedge’s website.
Are you keeping a closer eye on what’s happening in the Asian hedge fund space? Considering a move to that region? Add your comments below.