First State Investments (a division of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia) is launching five funds of hedge funds domiciled in the Cayman Islands.


First State Hedge Funds SPC Limited aims to offer investors the opportunity to invest in four different fund of funds strategies - long/short, relative value, fixed interest and tactical. Investors have an option to invest through shares priced in US dollars, Australian dollars, pounds sterling, Japanese yen and Euros.


Investors also have a further option to make a diversified investment across all four specific strategies through First State Diversified Hedge Fund Limited, a feeder fund, which is also Cayman-domiciled.


The funds are managed by First State Investments (Cayman) Limited, which is domiciled in Cayman, while Colonial First State Investment Limited in Sydney, in association with Harcourt Consulting AG, based in Zurich, acts as adviser to the investment manager in relation to the selection and monitoring of the underlying managers for each strategy.


First State Investments is seeking to raise USD 100 million following launch.


The Hong Kong office of law firm Maples and Calder worked with the Sydney office of Coudert Brothers in structuring the fund and advising on the Cayman Islands legal aspects.


Greg Knowles, lead lawyer for Maples and Calder, was assisted by Alex Last on this transaction.


Knowles said: "We believe that this is the first time that a Cayman segregated portfolio company has been made use of by fund advisers located in Australia. This fund vehicle, which is not available in onshore jurisdictions, provides for a statutory ring-fencing of liabilities as between sub-funds. In this way, we were able to add value to the structuring of the funds."


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