Hedge funds close worst-ever year with gains

12 January 2009

The worldwide hedge fund industry ended a miserable 2008 with some positive news, posting a slight gain on two composite indexes that monitor the sector.

According to data from Hedge Fund Research (HFR), the investment vehicles recorded a gain of 0.4 per cent in the last month of 2008, while figures from the Hennessee Group put its growth at 0.5 per cent, the Street reports.

Nevertheless, both firms acknowledged that the year had been the worst on record for the industry. HFR said the combined valued of pools was down by 18.3 per cent in 12 months.

Hennessee put the decline at 19.2 per cent, the Street noted.

Among the indexes hit hardest were those linked to energy and materials, which fell by 36.9 per cent, HFR's figures show. Fixed-income convertible arbitrage funds dropped by 34.6 per cent, while equity hedge indexes lost 26.4 per cent.

However, some funds still recorded annual gains, with short-bias indexes up by 28.3 per cent and systematic diversified indexes up by 18.3 per cent.

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