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Hedge fund allocations turn positive in February, says eVestment

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After a long string of redemptions, eVestment has reported positive sentiment in the hedge fund industry this month, with hedge funds netting an estimated USD7.9 billion in inflows in February.

As a result, flows are now positive year-to date in 2017.
 
The industry had endured net outflows in each of the last five months, and seven of the last eight, prior to February’s net inflows. Total industry AUM now sits at USD3.085 trillion, highest since July 2015.
 
eVestment’s Hedge Fund Industry Asset Flow Report for February also reveals that investors are showing mixed signals toward regional EM strategies. The regional investment preferences for products receiving the bulk of inflows vs the bulk of outflows in both February, and YTD 2017 are very similar. If anything, eVestment says there is a slightly higher prevalence of interest in Russia for inflows vs outflows, though there are absolutely Russia-focused funds exhibiting both.
 
Macro strategies are also in demand according to the report. After a disappointing year for flows in 2016, driven primarily by erratic 2015 returns and losses from notable products, investors appear to have noticed the benefit many macro managers were able to provide investors in 2016. eVestment notes that the 10 largest macro funds significantly outperformed their peers in 2016.
 
The report also says that fund strategy appears to be more influential than regional bias in flows. Macro and credit funds focusing on emerging markets are receiving more consistent investor interest compared to equity-focused strategies. China fund flows were slightly positive, however there was a large divide in flows between credit (positive) and equity-focused (negative) strategies.

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