Alternative Markets Update June 2019
June started in a more dynamic fashion for hedges funds are already recouped May’s losses. The anticipation of an interest rate cut this year as a result of Fed’s announcements resulted to a strong bounce back for equity markets. Equity hedge strategies profited the most during the first weeks of June, a month that so far is characterised by the trade war discussions and further tariff plans from US. Macro and CTA strategies had their bets right so far this month and they are waiting to capitalise on future volatility events. Bitcoin’s momentum slowed down in June and its price has receded from $8,740 to $7,900, reaching a market cap of $140bn. Ethereum had also a
slightly negative month so far and is keep following the same pattern as bitcoin.
Macro and Political Outlook June 2019 MacroEagle
Macro and Political Outlook April 2019 MacroEagle
STONE MOUNTAIN CAPITAL RESEARCH PERSPECTIVE VOL.94
Lending has always been the core banking business over centuries until the great financial crisis hit in 2008, which gave birth to a new asset class: private debt. For years, private markets were dominated by funds focusing on equity and banks on debt. The regulations that came into force in the aftermath of 2008 financial crisis created a funding gap for a specific market segment. Large corporates can finance themselves via debt and equity public issuance or bank lending, but funding middle market and SME corporates remains a challenge. The rise of debt funds together with fintech firms’ efforts to revolutionise alternative credit are shaping the current private debt environment, which is still enjoying a strong fundraising momentum. The 2023 forecast shows an increase for private debt AuM to $1.4 trillion, while assets have doubled since 2008.
STONE MOUNTAIN CAPITAL RESEARCH PERSPECTIVE VOL.63
The current market environment is characterised by high valuations in equities and low yields in traditional fixed income markets, urging investors to seek for alternative, diversified and stronger sources of return. Private debt is on its way to becoming an established asset class and falls under fixed income and private equity allocations of institutional investors. There is a broad set of opportunities within the private debt spectrum that spans from investment grade assets (IG CLOs, real assets and real estate senior debt) by lending across capital structure in mezzanine, to equity and first-loss like assets (distressed debt, CLO equity/warehousing/risk retention), depending on the risk-return profile of the institution. Navigating from the investment grade to high yield strategies (direct lending, capital relief trades, distressed debt and special situations) investors identify diversified sources of yield generated from illiquidity, complexity and regulatory premia. The $600bn private debt industry is set to exceed $1 trillion according to a research paper from the Alternative Credit Council.
STONE MOUNTAIN CAPITAL RESEARCH PERSPECTIVE VOL.55
The hedge fund industry is recuperating after two years of struggle. During the first half of 2017 hedge funds lived up to their investors’ expectations, who are looking to increase their hedge fund exposure for diversification and risk-return enhancement. The industry approximates $3.2 trillion in assets under management (AuM) across all strategies according to BarclayHedge with over five thousand institutional investors eyeing on the space of over 15,000 hedge fund strategies globally. Those numbers suggest an overcrowded space and considering data from the Asset Management Association of China, managers in China reach 25,000, the industry is in need of more regulatory attention.
Active management is again in demand and hedge funds will have to compete with their peers to attract more assets and it will be worthy to observe the fundraising arena. Using data from BarclayHedge for five main core strategies AUM, we observe that the main investor focus is on equity hedge (long/short, long-only and market neutral) and fixed income strategies, which are accounting for 25% and 18% respectively of hedge fund AuM. Macro and CTA strategies with $600bn account for 18%, while event-driven strategies are occupying only 5% of the industry’s AuM.