HONG KONG, July 19 (Reuters) - New Asian hedge funds raised $2 billion in the first half of the year, an increase of 50 percent over the capital they raised in the previous six months, a survey released on Thursday by industry tracker AsiaHedge showed.
The number of start-ups rose to 32, from 30 in the second half of last year, the survey showed, with funds such as Asia Research & Capital Management by Alp Ercil, former Asia head of Perry Capital, and Kingsmead by former FrontPoint portfolio manager John Foo joining the fray.
New Asian hedge funds collected $4.43 billion in 2011, powered by major launches such as former Goldman Sachs Group Inc trader Morgan Sze's Azentus and former Asia head of Highbridge Capital Carl Huttenlocher's Myriad.
"We anticipate several high-quality launches (in the second half of 2012), aided by better macro clarity post the U.S. elections and a desire on the part of global allocators to correct their structural under-allocation to Asia," Aradhna Dayal, head of Asia for HedgeFund Intelligence in Hong Kong, said in a statement.
AsiaHedge is part of Britain-based HedgeFund Intelligence.
Hedge funds expected to be launched in the second half of the year include Northbridge by former head of foreign exchange in Asia-Pacific for Credit Suisse Group AG David Curtis.
Others are MaSo by former managing directors of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC Manoj Jain and Sohit Khurana, and a fund by William Lee, former head of JPMorgan Chase & Co's equity derivatives group for Asia-Pacific.
Most of the inflows in the first half of the year were into select second-generation managers with the average launch size at $63.25 million, up from $44 million in second half of 2011.
This "is good news for institutional investors who have found it frustrating in previous years to find enough managers in Asia with the credibility and scale to take in larger tickets of $50-100 million," Dayal said.
Hong Kong-based new funds raised $1.75 billion. Singapore, the second-largest hedge fund centre in Asia, saw relatively few launches and $170 million collected in new funds.
Multi-strategy funds were the most preferred hedge fund category, raising $944 million.