ETF News

Bear Stearns' $1.2 billion macro hedge fund sees bounce

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investment bank Bear Stearns & Co BSC.N may have hit rough times but at least one of its hedge funds, the $1.2 billion Emerging Markets Macro Fund, is bouncing back from earlier losses this year.

The fund, managed by former top Bear proprietary trader Melissa Ko, posted gains of 8.9 percent for April, according to a note the fund set to investors this week.

The performance gains for April come after it suffered losses of 15.2 percent in the year through March, so the fund is still down 7.6 percent for the year, according to the note, which was obtained by Reuters.

But the strong performance for April suggests that the fund may have gotten its currency bets right after stumbling in the first quarter. The fund, which trades mostly global currencies, was a strong performer in previous years, posting annual returns of over 25 percent in both 2006 and 2007, according to previous investor notes.

In April, the Bear fund well exceeded the average performance for other “macro” funds, according to Hedge Fund Research, which collates data from thousands of hedge funds.

The HFR Macro Index posted a negative 0.65 percent return in April, although that includes funds that also trade substantial amounts of sovereign debt and other fixed income securities. The Bear fund had less than 4 percent of its assets in fixed income in March, with nearly 90 percent in currencies.

A Bear Stearns representative couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Bear Stearns is in the process of being sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N after the investment bank nearly collapsed in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis over the past year.

The Bear Stearns Asset Management division, which also manages more than a dozen other hedge funds, is expected to be taken over by JPMorgan’s asset management division.

(Reporting by Dane Hamilton, editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Reuters email: 646 223 6161