When UK-based Matrix Group decided to launch its Matrix Asia Fund on 8 August 2008, it was always likely to be auspicious given how lucky China views the number eight. If outperforming the MSCI APAC Index by 55.6 per cent in that time is any indication, the decision seems inspired. The fund, managed by Rupert Foster (pictured), has capitalised on its Pan-Asian L/S equity strategy to great effect, returning 52.70 per cent with only three quarters of the Index’s volatility. Crucially, it actively rotates between China and Japan – Asia’s key economies – to benefit from the different stages in their economic cycles. Talking to Hedgeweek, Foster says that for two of the last three years it has been vitally important to short markets. “Our fund is right at the top of the range because competitors have been playing the structural rather than the cyclical game,” explains Foster. He points out that, in the context of a Pan-Asian remit, good country selection has been important to the fund’s performance. “We do invest in Japan as it has some good years; this year, of the 12 per cent gains we’ve made, seven per cent have come from being long Japan.” Foster is still marginally net short China, but expects to rotate to a net long position (and short Japan) by October.