Singapore-based hedge fund, Canning Park Capital, is launching a fund to target equities in large-cap companies across Asia. The firm, founded by ex-Gartmore fund manager David Thompson along with Jason Rich (ex-GLS Capital) and James Hyndes (also ex-Gartmore in Singapore) will start trading the CCP Asian Opportunities Fund October 1st with Thompson as portfolio manager; Rich is the firm’s CIO, Hyndes is head of research. “One of the reasons why we like Asia is the country effect in the region is very significant,” said Thompson, who managed both European and Asian hedge funds during his time at Gartmore. “They’re a big driver of returns.” Equity L/S funds are by far the most popular investment strategy in Asia, accounting for nearly half of all funds in the region. As reported previously in Hedgeweek, figures released by Hedge Fund Research show that in 2Q10 they attracted USD360 million in new capital. The size of this new fund is not confirmed but it will apparently have a USD300 million capacity. Some of the seed capital is understood to be coming from an Asian pension fund. Thompson intends to hold 20 to 40 positions in the portfolio, focusing on liquid large-cap stocks in Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, China and India that will generate returns of 15 to 20 per cent. The “nimble, trading fund” will keep leverage to a minimum at only 1.2 times capital and move in and out of positions quickly in order to respond to market volatility: “The focus is on preserving capital and only being aggressive when we feel conditions are right in the market for stock-picking,” Thompson told Bloomberg.