Hedge funds down but not out

National Post – With strategy-wide net outflows of more than US$31-billion in the third quarter – the largest net capital redemption in the industry’s history – things aren’t looking too good for the hedge fund industry. Its size also fell by US$210-billion, the largest historic quarterly decline in assets, according to a recent report from Hedge Fund Research Inc.

“The current financial crisis presents many similarities to the financial crisis in 1998, certainly as it pertains to the hedge fund industry,” Kenneth Heinz, president of Hedge Fund Research said in a statement. “With losses continuing through October, it appears that 2008 will be the worst year on record for both hedge fund performance and industry asset flows.”

But the outflow figure is much better than the 20% or US$400-billion in redemptions some market commentators had feared, noted Citigroup analysts Haley Tam and Daniel Garrod. And the industry’s total capital still stood at US$1.72-trillion at the end of the quarter, according to the Hedge Fund Research’s base of more than 13,000 funds.

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