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Equity long/short FoHF records strong performance in 2004

Anthony Gibsons's Coronation Global Equity Fund, a USD 600 million long/short fund of hedge funds, generated a return of 13.87% in 2004.

The FoHF has produced double-digit returns for its pension fund investors with a standard deviation of about 6.3% p.a. The fund has been managed by Gibson since its launch in August 1996.

It invests solely in long/short equity hedge fund strategies covering the US, European and Far East markets and is well-diversified across manager investment styles and exposure to market direction. It is concentrated across 20 underlying hedge fund managers with larger allocations of around 10% to the core holdings.

Its primary objective is to capture at least 2/3 of the upside and a maximum of 1/3 of the downside of the MSCI World Price Index. The fund has outperformed the MSCI Index since inception, with the annualized return of the fund since inception at 12.7%.

Commenting on investor trends, Gibson said: "Our concern is that, at the moment, fundamental research is being adapted to fit the current momentum driven market. Just as investors had become extremely risk averse following the 2000-2003 bear market, they are now erring towards the other extreme. They are less concerned with risk levels, and fundamental research is being adapted to fit, and justify, the current momentum driven market."

Gibson believes that too many participants have recently become 'reborn' value investors following the market crash. He said: "Although it is true that these managers have predominantly invested in stocks with high cash balances, share buy backs and high pay-out characteristics, these companies are 'defensives' rather than classic (deep-discount) value stocks."

Unveiling some of the thinking behind his portfolio, Gibson said: "We actually think that 2005 will see a re-emergence of interest in old fashioned growth companies. These are not the growth shares as defined during the tech bubble, as that was a distortion of the growth definition. They are rather companies that are re-investing into their business with the prospect of a high return on investment. At present, these are largely industrial companies, following the many years of under investment in capital spending that has prevailed in developed markets. US capital goods companies look particularly interesting."

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