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James Williams, Hedgeweek

Global ETFs/ETPs reach record high of USD2.3trillion… Alternative UCITS post gains of 1.18 per cent in October…

Alternative UCITS gained 1.18 per cent in October to leave them up +3.20 per cent for 2013 according to the UCITS Alternative Index Global managed by Geneva-based Alix Capital.

One of the key reasons that helped contribute to October’s gains was the strong performance of long/short equity managers, up 1.85 per cent on average. Having said that, the best performing strategy last month was actually the UAI CTA, up 2.20 per cent. Other strategies that also returned more than 1 per cent were the UAI Multi-Strategy, UAI Emerging Markets and UAI Macro. Since the start of 2013 the UAI Long/Short Equity has been the standout performer. It is now up a very healthy 8.94 per cent, far ahead of the next best performing strategies, the UAI Multi-Strategy and UAI Event-Driven, up 3.71 per cent and 3.44 per cent respectively. The worst performing strategy this year so far is the UAI Volatility, down -3.77 per cent. 
October also proved to be a highly successful month for global ETFs/ETPs. These UCITS-compliant vehicles continue to be favoured by investors as evidenced by assets increasing by USD32.6billion thanks to a combination of net inflows and positive market performance.
This has helped global ETF/ETP assets reach a new record high of USD2.3trillion according to preliminary findings from London-based consultancy firm ETFGI’s October 2013 Global ETF and ETP industry insights report.
Equity ETFs/ETPs gathered the largest net inflows with USD34.6billion. In comparison, commodity ETFs/ETPs incurred the largest net outflows of USD2.8billion followed by fixed income ETFs/ETPs with net outflows of USD227million.
According to the report, global ETF/ETP assets have increased by 19 per cent through end of October with equity products leading the charge with an estimated USD193.9billion in net inflows; this compares to USD112.7billion through the same period last year. Whereas commodity ETFs/ETPs attracted USD20.1billion of net inflows at this point last year, through October 2013 they have recorded net outflows of USD33billion.
Commenting on the October figures Deborah Fuhr, Managing Partner at ETFGI, said: “The expectation that the Federal Reserve will maintain its QE scheme at its current size into 2014 and positive market performance encouraged investors to put net inflows of US$32.6 billion back into the market through ETFs/ETPs.”
In other news this week, Mirabaud announced the launch of a new Global Convertible Bond fund to add to Mirabaud Asset Management’s range of UCITS funds including the two-year old European Convertibles fund with EUR220million in assets. Mirabaud Convertible Bond Global will focus on the best opportunities in the global convertible bond market, in particular those issued in the US and Europe but also opportunistically in places such as emerging markets.
Renaud Martin, Head of Convertible Bonds, will co-manage the new fund along with Nicolas Crémieux, Senior Portfolio Manager, who joined Mirabaud Asset Management this summer from Dexia Asset Management.
Martin, who has been managing the European Convertible bond fund since its inception in October 2011, said: “The arrival of Nicolas Crémieux is a key factor for the enhancement of our expertise in global convertible bonds and his knowledge of the different markets, securities and sectors will be a significant advantage over the longer-term.”
Crémieux added: “The European fund has had an excellent start. We are seeking to reproduce the same success with this new global fund whose performance and commercial development prospects are considerable.”
Over the past 24 months, the Mirabaud Convertible Bonds Europe fund has posted a cumulative performance of 23.75 per cent and increased its AuM to EUR220million.
Lionel Aeschlimann, managing partner and head of asset management at Mirabaud, said: “Convertible bonds symbolise Mirabaud Asset Management’s investment philosophy since this asymmetry, between participation in the uptrend in the markets and downside protection
epitomises our management philosophy in numerous asset classes.
“This new global convertible bonds fund is a key solution for all our investors wishing to increase their exposure to this hybrid asset class.”

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