Asian hedge funds: Credit? A niche strategy?
Strange as it may sound elsewhere in the world, credit is something of a niche strategy for hedge funds in Asia.
|“Ideally you would want to meld experience of the US credit markets with local knowledge”
Eugene Kim, Tribridge
“There really wasn’t a credit culture in Asia until two or three years ago,” says Eugene Kim, CIO of fixed-income hedge fund Tribridge, which has a focus on credit in Asia ex-Japan from triple-A sovereigns such as Australia and Singapore right down to distressed credits. “Historically, most fixed-income investors were emerging market investors that tended to buy only sovereign and quasi-sovereign paper. If you were a sub-investment grade Asian corporate you had to go to the US or Europe for funding.” With a long background in high yield and credit in the US, and then in Asia, Kim jumped at the opportunity to run an Asian credit hedge fund when offered seed capital by a Korean insurance company looking to increase exposure on the fixed-income alternatives side.