Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – After capping off their best year since 2009, Nordic equity hedge funds continued their momentum into the new year by gaining 1.1 percent on average in January (90 percent reported). Nordic equity hedge funds, as measured by the NHX Equities, advanced 16.1 percent last year, posting their second-best year on record since HedgeNordic started tracking the industry in 2005.
Global equity markets, as measured by the FTSE World, fell by 0.1 percent in local-currency terms last month, with some U.S. indices hitting new record highs throughout January before changing course in the last week of the month. Meanwhile, Eurozone equities were down 1.3 percent in January, while North American equities edged down 0.2 percent in Euro terms. The VINX All-Share Index, which includes all the firms listed on Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchanges and Oslo Börs, delivered a net return of 0.4 percent in Euro terms last month.
Based on preliminary estimates, Nordic equity hedge funds outpaced both European and global long/short equity funds in January. The Eurekahedge Long Short Equities Hedge Fund Index, which tracks over 900 global equity hedge funds, was up 0.8 percent last month based on reported data from 29 percent of index constituents. European long/short equity funds, as expressed by the Eurekahedge Europe Long Short Equities Hedge Fund Index, were down 0.7 percent last month based on reported data from 37 percent of index constituents.
The dispersion between last month’s best- and worst-performing members of the NHX Equities decreased month-over-month. In January, the top 20 percent gained 5.6 percent on average, whereas the bottom 20 percent lost 2.7 percent on average. In December, the top 20 percent were up 11.4 percent on average and the bottom 20 percent were down 0.8 percent. Three in every five members of the NHX equities posted gains last month.
Last Month’s Top Performers
Adrigo Small & Midcap L/S, a stock-picking hedge fund looking for long and short opportunities in the Nordic small- and mid-cap segment, was last month’s best-performing member of the Nordic Hedge Index with an advance of 10.4 percent. One of the fund’s largest holdings in Norway-listed land-based salmon farming company Atlantic Sapphire contributed strongly to last month’s advance.
Symmetry Invest, a long/short equity fund founded and co-managed by Andreas Aaen out of Aalborg in Denmark, was last month’s second-best performing equity hedge fund in the Nordics with a return of about 9.0 percent. Energy-focused market-neutral equity fund KLP Alfa Global Energi followed suit with a gain of 7.1 percent. Atlant Sharp and St. Petri L/S, last year’s best-performing hedge fund in the Nordics with a return of 98.3 percent, were up 5.3 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, in January.