UK hedge fund hit by oil slide and lockdown results

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A UK hedge fund arrange by the previous head of Canyon Capital’s London workplace is struggling its hardest 12 months but, say folks aware of its efficiency, becoming a member of numerous managers that have been hit by market turmoil and have did not recuperate.

Makuria Funding Administration, based in 2012 by Mans Larsson, misplaced about 29 per cent this 12 months to the tip of August, mentioned an individual who had seen the numbers. The agency tries to earn cash buying and selling company credit score, together with distressed bonds — these buying and selling properly beneath par worth.

The poor run in 2020 has helped knock its property, which grew to shut to $600m final 12 months, right down to about $360m, mentioned folks aware of the agency’s efficiency.

Makuria suffered massive losses throughout this spring’s market chaos, after its positions within the oil and fuel sector have been onerous hit by the droop within the oil value. US oil costs fell into unfavourable territory for the primary time in historical past in April as demand evaporated in the course of the coronavirus lockdown.

The fund additionally misplaced cash on the bonds of infrastructure corporations equivalent to toll roads and airports — normally seen as a gentle and dependable supply of returns — which shed worth as strict journey restrictions have been introduced in throughout lockdown.

Makuria declined to remark.

Harvard-educated Mr Larsson, 44, a former Goldman Sachs analyst, raised about $300m for Makuria throughout a tricky time for brand new launches within the wake of the eurozone debt disaster. The agency attracted hires equivalent to chief working officer Matthew Johnson, who beforehand labored at George Soros’s Soros Fund Administration. Makuria made features of near 10 per cent in 2017 and 9 per cent final 12 months, however misplaced roughly 6 per cent in 2018.

A lot of different credit-focused funds have struggled to rebound after a tricky time in March. CQS’s Michael Hintze, as an illustration, suffered a $1.4bn loss by the tip of Might, largely due to dangerous bets on structured credit score.

Multi-strategy credit score funds are down on common 0.eight per cent this 12 months to August, whereas directional credit score funds — which take extra of a guess on credit score market strikes — have misplaced 1.6 per cent as this 12 months’s worst-performing technique, in accordance with eVestment.

That compares with a 6.9 per cent return from investment-grade bonds and a 0.7 per cent return from high-yield bonds this 12 months to August, in accordance with indices run by ICE Knowledge Companies.

Nonetheless, some funds have used the sell-off as a chance to extend publicity. New York-based Axonic Capital, which additionally suffered losses this 12 months, raised near $1bn to spend money on areas equivalent to business and residential mortgage-backed securities.

laurence.fletcher@ft.com

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