Hedge funds see $159-bn outflows in Oct-Dec period

Business Standard – Spooked by increasing performance losses and record investor redemptions, the global hedge fund industry saw net outflows worth $158.91 billion in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2008, the highest level since 1994.

According to a report by fund tracking firm Lipper, global hedge fund assets are estimated to have decreased from $1.5 trillion in September to $1.29 trillion at the end of December 2008.

All hedge fund sub-strategies posted negative money flows (outflows) in the three-month period with cumulative net outflows in 2008 as the industry witnessed a collapse in global equity markets, liquidity issues and failure of a number of key institutions.

In absolute terms, the performance of Credit Suisse/Tremont hedge fund index in Q4 2008 registered -10.21 per cent, the second worst quarterly performance since the start of the index. The index had posted 10.33 per cent negative returns during the third quarter. "A majority of hedge fund managers were hit by panic selling and deleveraging that followed, combined with changes in broker requirements and the enforcement of a ban on short selling in certain financial stocks," said the Lipper report.

In US dollar terms, the largest hedge fund sub-strategy outflows were experienced by long/short equity at $42.52 billion.

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