| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Feb 26 Famed short-seller James
Chanos told Reuters on Thursday his hedge fund firm, Kynikos
Associates, performed well in 2008, but clients still withdrew
about 20 percent of his funds' assets.
Chanos, who profits by betting against companies he expects
will fall in value, thrived in a year when a broad range of
financial markets tanked. He declined to reveal his fund's
annual performance, but said the firm "had a good year."
The average hedge fund specializing in short selling
returned 25 percent last year, according to data from hedge
fund tracking firm Hennessee Group.
Yet like hundreds of hedge fund managers, Kynikos still
suffered from outflows. Chanos, following a Portfolio Magazine
breakfast panel discussing the Madoff scandal, characterized
the 20 percent net reduction as "reasonable."
Industrywide, investors last year withdrew some $150
billion of assets from hedge funds. In some cases, struggling
funds imposed "gates" to stop redemptions that would trigger
more forced selling by their portfolio managers.
Those gates, as a result, prompted many investors to pull
money from the funds that had not blocked redemptions, even if
they performed well.
"We were like an ATM machine," Chanos joked.
(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone and Svea Herbst-Bayliss;
Editing by Tim Dobbyn)