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Brokers Rush to Establish Hedge Funds

Date: Monday, March 10, 2008
Author: Korea Times

With deregulation planned for the capital market, securities firms find that setting up hedge funds is tantamount to expanding overseas for further growth.

What better way is there than to ``kill two birds with one stone'' by setting up ventures overseas and providing prime brokerage services to hedge fund and equity investors?

Korea Investment Holdings, the parent group of Korea Investment & Securities, said the company and Atlas Capital Management (a U.S-based investment manager) established a joint venture ― K-Atlas Advisors ― in Singapore. The firm launched an alternative investment product, the K-Atlas Fund, for domestic clients.

``As part of a comprehensive strategic initiative synchronized with the Capital Market Consolidation Act, K-Atlas will play a pivotal role in developing and marketing proprietary and exclusive products and services to the company's institutional and retail client bases," said Chris Lee, the newly appointed chief executive officer of K-Atlas Advisors.

Woori Investment & Securities is also charging ahead to invest some $100 million to set up a global hedge fund by June in Singapore, Asia's hedge fund haven.

Shinyoung Securities has introduced a hedge fund domiciled in the Cayman Islands to foreign investors. The fund entirely invests in a variety of Korean assets for stable gains.

Hana Daetoo Securities and Singapore subsidiary OPVS Investment Holdings' HFG Investments investing in hedge funds is the country's first alternative product that was introduced last year.