James Williams, Hedgeweek

Gazprombank Asset Management launches its first UCITS fund… ML Capital’s Barometer report finds three times more interest in market neutral funds in Q1…

Global and US long/short equity strategies would appear to be the top two most favoured strategies among investors in Q1 according to the latest Alternative UCITS Barometer report by ML Capital.

The report finds that there is three times more interest in allocating to market neutral funds, which contrasts to the overall view of investors’ increased appetite for riskier assets. The report finds that some investors favour a barbell approach by strategically balancing an overweight position in long/short equity with a market neutral allocation. Some investors are expecting potential headwinds in the markets – look at what’s happening in emerging markets with currencies such as the Argentinian peso falling 11 per cent against the greenback last week – and increased volatility, “which should accelerate the move into market neutral and lower risk absolute return products”, wrote ML Capital. With respect to regional emerging market funds, only 36 per cent of respondents said they were planning to make allocations. Demand for dedicated and Latin American funds has fallen this quarter to the lowest levels since ML Capital started producing the Barometer report over three years ago.
 
NewAlpha Asset Management has announced the fourth incubation partnership between the French managers-only seeding fund Émergence and Rcube Asset Management reported Hedgeweek this week.
 
Émergence has provided EUR30million of funding for Rcube’s Global Macro UCITS Fund, which is aimed at French and international institutional investors. Approved by the Luxembourg financial regulator, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), the Rcube Global Macro UCITS fund implements a global macro investment strategy across all asset classes (excluding commodities), using only the most liquid instruments. The investment process is built on a framework of macroeconomic models and discretionary analysis.
 
The quantitative part aims at identifying the factors influencing asset prices and returns. The investment decisions are then taken on a discretionary basis. Founded as a consulting firm advising on global investment strategies by Cyril Castelli, Paul Buigues and Stéphane Alloiteau in 2010, Rcube has a broad clientele that includes North American and European investors. Rcube Global Macro UCITS is launching on the market a few months after the implementation of the same strategy in an offshore wrapper for international investors. 
 
Gazprombank Asset Management, one of Russia’s largest asset management firms, announced this week the launch of its inaugural UCITS fund. The Luxembourg-domiciled GPB Emerging Europe Equities Fund is managed by Moscow-based Rustam Mursalimov. Its strategy is to invest in equities in Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Turkey, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Greece. Mursalimov will focus on companies with strong fundamentals, attractive growth potential and favourable valuations. The fund has launched with USD50million and is benchmarked against the MSCI EM Europe 10/40.
 
Aylin Suntay, CEO of Gazprombank Asset Management, said: "Our outlook for these countries is positive because of the improving macroeconomic trends of European economies in 2014 and the fact that most markets in these countries are still developing. We see continuing investment opportunities as local businesses demonstrate improving corporate governance and transparency. We believe that our local and regional knowledge and strong analytical process will help us perform strongly and grow our Fund."

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