| NEW YORK, June 9
NEW YORK, June 9 Rs
Oil trader Andy Hall's hedge fund firm is up for a fourth
straight month for its longest winning streak in three years and
in a turnaround from 2013 losses, performance data it released
to investors and seen by Reuters showed on Monday.
Hall, known for taking bullish long-term bets on the price
of oil, has notched big gains despite a relatively range bound
oil market lately.
His Westport, Connecticut-based fund company, Astenbeck
Capital Management LLC, is up nearly 16 percent through May,
after a positive showing since February, the data showed. The
firm, mostly invested in oil and managing $3.4 billion across
three separate funds, finished down about 8 percent last year.
The rise through May was Astenbeck's longest stretch of
monthly gains since 2011. That year, it had a similar four-month
increase before ending the year down for its first annual loss.
This year, Astenbeck had a weak start, appearing to suffer
investor redemptions as its assets fell from $4 billion in
December to $3.5 billion by the end of January.
Since then, its gains have been in stark contrast to
lackluster moves in oil prices as fears about rising global
output offset heightened geopolitical tensions in Russia.
Year-to-date, U.S. crude oil is up 6 percent. UK
Brent, the global benchmark for oil, is down slightly
less than 1 percent.
In April and May alone, Astenbeck rose almost 7 percent.
Hall, who sends a monthly letter to Astenbeck's investors
along with its performance data, did not explain how his firm
managed to beat the market by such a wide margin.
Astenbeck, which also invests in natural gas, platinum group
metals and corn, did not immediately return a call from Reuters
seeking comment on its performance.
Hall is known for a $100 million payday in 2008 when his
trading company Phibro, under which Astenbeck was formed, was
owned by Citigroup.
Global oil company Occidental Petroleum bought
Phibro from Citi in 2009 and Hall came along as part of the
deal, ending with an 80 percent stake in Astenbeck. Occidental
is now looking to sell the 20 percent in Astenbeck that it owns
to reduce proprietary trading activities.
(Reporting by Barani Krishnan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)