Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – After suffering the worst month on record in March and enjoying their best month in April, Nordic equity hedge funds gained 2.4 percent on average (95 percent reported) last month. The quarter-to-date gain of 7.6 percent brought the group’s year-to-date performance to a negative 1.3 percent.
Global equity markets gained 3.2 percent in Euro terms last month, continuing their recovery from the sharp declines experienced in late February and March. The VINX All-Share Index, which includes all the firms listed on Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchanges and Oslo Börs, delivered a net return of 7.2 percent in Euro terms in May. Eurozone equities rose 5.2 percent last month, reducing the year-to-date decline to 15.9 percent. North American stocks advanced 3.5 percent in May, taking their year-to-date performance to a negative 4.1 percent.
Both European and global equity hedge funds are trailing their Nordic counterparts so far in 2020. The Eurekahedge Long Short Equities Hedge Fund Index, which tracks the performance of about 900 global equity hedge funds, gained an estimated 2.8 percent last month based on reported data from 30 percent of index constituents. This group was down 3.8 percent in the first five months of 2020. Another Eurekahedge index comprised of about 160 European equity hedge funds was up an estimated 1.6 percent in May based on reported data from 36 percent of index constituents. The Eurekahedge Europe Long Short Equities Hedge Fund Index was down 4.8 percent in the first five months of the year.
The dispersion between last month’s best- and worst-performing equity hedge funds in the Nordic Hedge Index decreased relative to the prior month. In May, the top 20 percent gained 8.0 percent on average, whereas the bottom 20 percent lost 1.2 percent on average. In April, however, the top 20 percent gained 17.0 percent on average, whereas the bottom 20 percent was down 2.0 percent on average. Three in every four members of the NHX Equities posted gains for April.
HCP Focus, a Finnish high conviction equity fund predominantly investing in companies from the technology space benefiting from network effects, was last month’s best-performing member of the Nordic Hedge Index with a gain of 15.1 percent. With a year-to-date gain of 27.9 percent, HCP Focus currently ranks as this year’s best-performing hedge fund in the Nordics. Danish long/short equity fund Symmetry Invest was up 14.5 percent in May and 40 percent quarter-to-date through the end of last month, recouping most of the losses incurred in the first quarter of 2020.
Rhenman Healthcare Equity L/S is up 2.6 percent year-to-date through the end of May after gaining 10.9 percent last month. Activist investor Accendo Capital, which maintains a focused portfolio of small- and mid-cap companies from Northern Europe, advanced 8.0 percent in May, bringing its year-to-date performance to 14.7 percent. Long-biased small-cap-focused equity fund Alcur Select brought its year-to-date performance to 13.8 percent after a gain of 6.8 percent in May.