Long/short tops Alt Ucits 2012 rankings

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The number of available strategies in the Alternative Ucits universe surpassed the 300 mark following a spate of openings in the fourth quarter of the year, according to industry reports.

In research compiled by Luxembourg-based Alceda Asset Management, it was shown there were 13 new launches between October and December 2012, while five funds closed.

This surpasses the figure of 299 available funds which was reached in the third quarter data and means a total of 307 funds are now in existence.

At the core of these new launches were long/short equity funds, which make up five of 13 new strategies made available over the three month period.

These new additions reflect a strong year for the long/short equity funds in general, as they were found to have posted the strongest performance in absolute terms for three of the four quarters in 2012 and the strongest performance for the year overall.

In spite of the volatility, equity long/short managers were able to benefit from advancing markets with a quarterly gain of 2.12 % and 6.19 % for the year.

At the other end of the scale, managed futures funds were seen to be the poorest performing fund, posting average losses of 2.43% and an average loss of 7.75% for the year.

According to Alceda, a consultation launched by ESMA on the regulation of managed futures funds - which some commentators have described as potentially damaging to the funds - could be viewed as having some bearing on investor interest in these funds.

One theme which Alceda said had become more apparent in the fourth quarter was the concentration of assets into global macro funds.

This type of strategy makes up 17% of the overall number of funds available, with 54 global macro funds listed. However, this type of fund makes up 40% of the overall assets under management, accounting for €34.7 billion of the €86 billion industry total.

Continuing to look at the industry overview, there are now 117 long/short equity funds available, which equates to 38% of all funds being long/short equity strategies.