Monday, December 14, 2009

Australian "Hedge Fund" Investment Opportunities

I have a couple of prospectuses here for investments in Australian "hedge funds" but I think I will skip both:

Platinum Capital Share Purchase Plan: Existing shareholders can buy up to $A15,000 of shares in this listed hedge fund. The shares will be priced at a 5% discount to the average price over some period in February. However, the shares have been trading recently at a fairly high premium to net asset value (including an estimate of franking credits) of around 13%. The premium has been higher in the past - up to 30%. In October 2008 there was a negative premium of -24%. Over the last few years the premium has averaged 6%. Of course we have no way to know what the stock price will be in February. There is a risk that the premium could be even higher. So I prefer to skip this offer.

Everest Credit Opportunities Fund: This is a new offering from Everest Financial to invest in a fund of funds of credit strategies hedge funds. There is no closing date to the offer. Minimum investment is $A10k. As I have been reporting some credit strategies, and in particular convertible arbitrage, have been performing extremely well this year. This fund smacks of chasing high performers. The prospectus says that they expect these credit strategies to continue to perform well in coming years but I doubt the performance will be as good as this year. The initial fund allocation is as follows:

The long-term returns on these funds are fine. Management Expense Ratio at the fund of funds level is around 2.5% with no performance fees. So based on the long-term returns of the individual funds I think we could expect about an 8% return on the fund of funds. There is a 12 month initial lockup period after which funds can be redeemed quarterly with 120 days notice. Given these facts, the relatively large initial investment, and my existing exposure to these kind of strategies via the Everest Alternative Investment Trust, I think I will give this one a miss too.

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