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Fairfield Straits Lion adds Korean tilt with new equity long/short fund

Fairfield Straits Lion Asset Management (FSL) has unveiled its latest fund, the Fairfield Korean Equity Fund, the company's fifth launch since August 2005. 

The fund, a long/short equity fund focusing on Korean small and mid-sized companies with market capitalizations of less than USD1 billion, is a Singapore-based joint venture between leading alternative investment manager Fairfield Greenwich Group (FGG), and one of Singapore's largest asset managers, Lion Capital Management Limited (Lion Capital).  
"The launch of Fairfield Korea is the successful culmination of many months of due diligence and hard work by both FSL's investment team and FGG," says Foo Cheong Tong, CEO of FSL.
The fund's objective is to achieve superior long-term capital appreciation and to maximize its risk-adjusted returns regardless of the direction of the underlying Korean markets. Larger capitalization stocks will be blended in to smooth out overall portfolio volatility.  
Kevin Choi, Chief Investment Officer and Founder of Cosmo Investment Management Co. Ltd. ("Cosmo"), will sub-advise the Fund. Prior to founding Cosmo in 1999, he worked as a fund manager at Seoul Asset Management and at Hyundai Asset Management. Choi has over 15 years of industry experience and is based in Seoul where he is supported by a sixteen-member team, all of whom average over ten years' experience in the Korean market. This local research capability and substantial expertise in Korea has allowed the team to be successful in seeking out discounted securities in the under-researched small to mid-cap sectors.  

According to Choi, the fund will aim to adhere to the key tenet of FSL's and FGG's investment philosophy -- capital preservation.

"Our investment approach has three objectives: first and foremost is preservation of capital; second, we strive for consistent profitability by balancing the risk relative to the accumulated profits or losses; and third, insofar as we are successful in the first two goals, we attempt to achieve superior returns, says Choi.

All core FSL and FGG funds strive to consistently deliver superior long-term risk-adjusted returns, liquid portfolios, low correlation, low relative leverage, and low volatility.

"We expect good interest in this fund as the long-term investment case for Korea is robust," says Debra Ng, Regional Business Director of FSL. "Few people realize that Korea is now the tenth largest economy in the world in GDP terms and yet remains the cheapest market in Asia ex-Japan on a PER (Price-to-Earnings Ratio) basis." 

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