Macquarie joins Asia's billion dollar hedge fund club

HONG KONG Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:29am EDT

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Macquarie Asian Alpha Fund has quadrupled assets to more than $1 billion since the start of 2010, according to an investor letter seen by Reuters, joining a small club of hedge funds managing $1 billion or more in the region.

Assets of the market-neutral long/short Asia focused hedge fund from Macquarie Group (MQG.AX) rose to an all-time high of $1.03 billion in April, up from $576 million at the end of December. The hedge fund had started 2010 with about $230 million.

The fund's gain in the first three months of 2011 was 5.8 percent, the investor letter showed. By comparison, the Eurekahedge Asia Long/Short index was up 0.3 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down about 1 percent.

Only 29 hedge fund firms in Asia managed more than $1 billion in January 2011, data from industry tracker HedgeFund Intelligence showed. By comparison, the United States had 216 such firms, and Britain had 65.

(Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Ken Wills)