* Sold most of Asia portfolio before closedown-sources
* Asia operations closed in late October-sources (Updates with no comment from TCI)
HONG KONG, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Activist investor, The Children’s Investment fund (TCI), has closed down in Asia following the departure of its regional head earlier this year, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The UK-based fund had approached other global hedge funds with a regional presence to take over its Asian portfolios, said another source close to the issue.
TCI did manage to sell off most of its regional investments but it was not clear who the buyers were, the source said.
John Ho, who led TCI's Asian business, left the hedge fund in April after TCI lost its much-hyped tussle with Japan's largest electricity utility Electric Power Development 9513.T, better known as J-Power, in 2008. The fund is said to have lost $130 million on its investment in J-Power.
TCI, which famously launched an attack on ABN AMRO in 2007 that helped trigger the Dutch bank’s sale, closed its Asian office in Hong Kong in late October, sources said.
TCI, founded by Chris Hohn, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.
TCI’s custom of taking big, unhedged bets by investing in a handful of companies and lobbying for change backfired last year as the fund lost 40 percent, against an 19 percent fall in the average hedge fund.
The fund also saw other high profile exits, including by co-founders Snehal Amin and Patrick Degorce against the backdrop of its poor performance in the previous year.
TCI said in July that profit surged 73 percent in the year ended August 2008 but warned that 2009 would be tough. TCI’s financial year only partly coincided with what was a difficult 2008 for hedge funds.
The hedge fund had cut its stake in Hong Kong-listed Link Real Estate Investment Trust 0823.HK to under 10 percent from more than 16 percent early this year.
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