Asia Fund Weekly News, March 24, 2014

March 24 Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:17pm EDT

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March 24 (Reuters) - News and developments in the Asian funds industry in the last week.

MARCH 21

The remarkable calm in global financial markets in the face of tensions over Crimea and the prospect of an early U.S. rate hike may reflect investors' lack of appetite for deploying their cash, rather than their complacency.

The Indian government on Friday raised as much as $1.4 billion through share sales, in a push to shore up state finances before it heads into a tough parliamentary election next month.

Investors have pulled almost $5 billion from emerging market funds in the past week, data from EPFR Global showed on Friday, with one bank estimating that equity outflows have totalled $100 billion over the past year.

Asia-focused hedge funds added $20 billion in assets in 2013, recording their first growth in three years and boosting the industry's size to $158.8 billion, according to a survey from tracker AsiaHedge.

IDFC Alternatives Ltd, a private equity fund managed by India's IDFC Ltd, raised 7.5 billion rupees ($122.9 million) for a debt fund that will lend to developers of residential real-estate across the country.

MARCH 20

Japan's Nikkei stock average will recoup its recent losses and end 2014 at a level not seen since before the financial crisis, as more monetary easing offsets weaker demand after the sales tax rises next month, a Reuters poll found.

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn plans to raise $2 billion in a macro hedge fund, his firm, LSK & Partners, said on Thursday, as investors continue to back a low-risk and rapidly growing investment strategy.

Foreign investors sold a record 1.09 trillion yen ($10.7 billion) of Japanese stocks last week, according to data the Ministry of Finance released on Thursday, as geopolitical concerns buffeted the Tokyo market.

MARCH 19

U.S. asset managers are eagerly expanding into China's stock market by launching exchange-traded funds that invest in the country's locally listed equities, hoping to cash in on the early success of the first of such U.S.-listed ETFs.

MARCH 18

Investors cut equity allocations to a 15-month low and kept their cash levels high in March as tensions in Russia and Ukraine cut risk appetite, a survey showed on Tuesday. (Compiled by Nishant Kumar in Hong Kong; Editing by Anand Basu)

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