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London-based Aspect Capital has launched a long/short Japanese equities fund with around US$15 million from an institutional investor.

The Cayman-domiciled Aspect Japanese Equity Fund, which is open to non-US investors, is being marketed by Aspect's institutional sales team directly to institutional clients around the world. Minimum investment is US$100,000.

The new fund, which started trading on 15 January, aims to deliver average returns of 10-15 per cent per year with low levels of risk, using Aspect's approach of combining value, growth and momentum models to identify over- and undervalued stock.

Investing in large cap Japanese stocks, the fund will take approximately 80 positions with an even split of longs and shorts.

Alastair Smith, Sales and Marketing Director, said: "A return of over 54 per cent, net of fees, in the Aspect European Equity since inception (October 1999) demonstrates Aspect's ability to generate excellent returns in difficult market conditions. We believe that our strategy will be highly successful in the Japanese equity market and we look forward to providing investors with consistent returns."

He added: "The success of our long/short European equity fund has helped drive demand for a similar product that invests in Japanese equities. We believe that the Japanese market provides good opportunities for a quantitative approach that combines value, momentum and growth strategies and this has been reflected by the demand that we have already seen from institutional investors".

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