Hans Schlaikier. Hedgeweek

Azentus Capital returns 8 per cent… Paamco looks to Asian institutionals to diversify investor base…

Azentus Capital Management Ltd, led by former Goldman Sachs proprietary trader Morgan Sze, returned 8 per cent before fees this year through to 22 April, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Azentus’s assets stand at USD1.6 billion, said the person, who declined to be identified because the information is private. Hong Kong-based Azentus manages a global multi-strategy hedge fund focused on Asia. Roger Denby-Jones, Azentus’s chief operating officer, declined to comment. The Eurekahedge Multi-strategy Hedge Fund Index, tracking the performances of 254 pools globally, returned 2.3 per cent in the first three months.

Large hedge funds, which absorbed most of the new capital added to the industry since the 2008 global financial crisis, have been under pressure to deliver performances in a whipsawing market driven by political events. Those with at least USD5 billion of assets had more than USD10 billion of net inflows in the first quarter, accounting for 67 per cent of the USD2.4 trillion in industry assets, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc.

Yashwant Bajaj, co-founder of hedge-fund firm Hachiman Capital Management, won dismissal of most claims against him by a former partner who said he was shortchanged after the two decided to shut their Singapore company.

Toru Ueda claimed his former partner made an unauthorized debit after they decided to close the fund. That claim was struck out by a Singapore High Court assistant registrar, according to an April 19 order.

Ueda alleged that the unauthorized debit arose after Bajaj wrongfully transferred USD458,965 to his Juggernaut Capital Management Pte. and incurred a trading loss of USD247,197, which wasn’t accounted for, according to Ueda’s lawsuit.

Ueda declined to comment when contacted by phone. Ueda still has a USD77,000 claim against Bajaj with respect to loss allocations in the Hachiman Japan Fund. The case is Toru Ueda v Yashwant Bajaj. S205/2013. Singapore High Court.

OCP Asia, which manages hedge funds, along with Network18 has invested a fresh round of capital worth USD30 million in one of India’s oldest ecommerce brand Homeshop18. OCP Asia will invest USD15 million into the company, matched by an equal contribution from Network18. While the transaction values HomeShop18 at USD330 million, Network 18 still remains the majority shareholder with 51 per cent of stake.

HomeShop18 had raised USD18.6 million from SAIF partners and existing investors in July 2012. Also, GS Home Shopping, a South Korean company, has invested USD18.5 million along with USD5 million dollars from Network 18 in a funding round in 2009. OCP Asia, which is one of the top 25 hedge fund managers in Asia as per the ‘Asia Hedge Fund 25 Ranking’ published by Institutional Investor, joins current existing investors SAIF Partners, GS Shop and Network18.

HomeShop18 is the online and teleshopping arm of Network 18 and launched its e-commerce store “Homeshop18.com” in 2011.

Pacific Alternative Asset Management Co., an USD8.6 billion US fund-of-hedge-funds, is seeking to raise money from pensions and sovereign wealth funds in Asia to diversify its investor base.

US investors account for 85 per cent of its clients, mostly institutional, with the rest spread across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, according to David Walter, Singapore-based director for the Irvine, California manager known as Paamco. The company is looking at Asian managers employing relative-value strategies and those investing in high-yield stocks.

Paamco, which invests in emerging hedge-fund managers around the world for clients including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, is seeking to capitalize on growing demand in Asia for alternative investments such as hedge funds and real estate. Almost three in 10 institutional investors in the region say increasing holdings of alternative and non-correlated assets is one of their highest priorities over the next 12 months, according to a survey in September by Natixis (KN) Global Asset Management.

Paamco is currently invested in about 10 managers focused on the region, with the majority of them in equities, and some in credit, currencies, rates and commodities. The managers are mostly based in Hong Kong and Singapore, with one each in the U.K. and the US, he said.

The biggest challenge for the region’s managers and those investing in Asian hedge funds is the performance. The Eurekahedge Asian Hedge Fund Index (MXWO) returned about 10 per cent in 2012, trailing the 13 per cent gain by the MSCI World Index of developed nations.

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