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Currency funds maintain momentum

New approaches to managing currency funds have proliferated as demand holds up from investors disillusioned by poor performance in other asset classes. But could the market be getting saturated?

INVESTOR INTEREST IN currencies shows no signs of abating so far this year. With projected returns in other asset classes showing few indications of improvement, currency funds have emerged as an attractive investment alternative. Although active currency management is not a new concept, the proliferation of currency-only funds over the past year has fostered many different investment styles. "The most aggressive growth we've seen is clients seeking total return," says Matthew Cobon, director of currency fund management at Deutsche Asset Management. "Hedge fund strategies and traditional overlay strategies are now providing clients with cash and returns they want. And it isn't just big institutional investors buying into this investment style. We are seeing interest from smaller entities as well."

A wealth of hedge fund styles are now to hand as currency managers increasingly realize that their skills can be applied in a hedge funds context. "We have consequently seen more currency funds being set up in the hope of capturing a share of the demand for hedge funds," says Bill Muysken, global head of research at Mercer Investment Consulting. "Most of them have been managing currency exposures for many years but the difference now is that we are seeing them offer this service through currency funds."

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