Asia hedge funds net $500 mln in Aug, assets at 32-mth highs

HONG KONG Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:12pm IST

Arrangement of various world currencies including Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Swiss Franc and Russian Rouble pictured in Warsaw January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

Arrangement of various world currencies including Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, US Dollar, Euro, British Pound, Swiss Franc and Russian Rouble pictured in Warsaw January 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Kacper Pempel/Files

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Asia-focused hedge funds attracted a net inflow of about $500 million in August, increasing their total inflows for 2011 to $7 billion, as investors shrugged off volatile markets and raised bets on the region's fast growth, new data showed.

Flows this year has exceeded last year's when these funds got net inflows of $4 billion, data released on Wednesday by Singapore-based hedge fund tracker Eurekahedge showed.

European hedge funds saw net outflows worth $2.8 billion in August, while North American funds attracted net inflows of $4.8 billion, the data showed.

Total assets under management of the Asian hedge funds tracked by Eurekahedge rose to $136.1 billion at the end of August, the highest since December 2008.

While cumulative hedge fund assets in Asia remain about $40 billion below their peak hit in December 2007, the industry is seeing a revival from the global financial crisis, with some funds attracting hundreds of million of dollars.

High-profile funds such as Azentus, launched by former Goldman Sachs trader Morgan Sze, and the ones planned by Carl Huttenlocher, the former Asia head of JPMorgan Chase & Co's Highbridge Capital and Oasis Management's Seth Fischer are expected to boost industry assets further this year.

Asian hedge funds, including those betting on Japan, received a net inflow for the 16th consecutive month in August, the data showed, helped by outperformance in 2011.

The regional funds, as measured by the Eurekahedge Asia index, lost about 2.7 percent in the first eight months of the year. By comparison, the MSCI AC Asia Index was down about 10 percent.

In August, the funds lost about 3.5 percent compared with the 9.2 percent decline in the MSCI AC Asia Index as stocks across the region slumped on worries about the health of the U.S. economy and the European sovereign debt crisis.

(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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