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Hedge fund returns lag 2017 performance at end of Q3

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Global hedge fund industry performance dipped negative in September, with overall industry returns at -0.17 per cent last month, according to the latest data from investment data and analytics firm eVestment.

This brings Q3 returns to just barely positive at +0.30 per cent and year to date (YTD) returns to +0.53 per cent. This is a far cry from the industry’s aggregate return of +8.92 per cent for 2017 and, in a generally strong investment market, may re-ignite concerns about the hedge fund industry. Some highlights from the latest data include:
Among primary strategies, Distressed funds were the big winners in September. These funds had returns of +0.84 per cent, bringing YTD returns to +4.92 per cent, putting Distressed funds at the top in returns among primary strategies.
Origination & Financing funds are another bright spot for the year. While these funds’ September returns were only +0.28 per cent last month, YTD returns for the strategy stand at +4.33 per cent.
On the flip side, Event Driven – Activist funds were the worst performers amongst primary strategies, at -2.14 per cent bringing YTD returns down to -2.38 per cent.
Russian-focussed hedge funds surprised in September with positive returns of +3.75 per cent, although September’s positive results weren’t enough to make up for negative returns for the quarter and the year.
India-focussed funds continued to disappoint after a stellar 2017 (when these funds returned +32.87 per cent). In September, India-focussed fund returns were negative at -11.68 per cent, with YTD returns at -20.84 per cent.
China-focussed also continue a negative run this year, with September returns at -2.16 per cent and YTD returns at -9.48 per cent. This is also a far cry from China-focused funds’ huge returns of +34.74 per cent in 2017.

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