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Soros brings fund managers to Two IFC

Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Author: Tony Liaw, The Standard

Hedge fund guru George Soros has installed 21 fund managers at his Hong Kong office, East Week, sister publication of The Standard, reported.

The roster includes his elder son Robert Soros, former Tiger Asia Management director James Chang, and Dai Jixin, who has close connections in Beijing.

Dai, who will lead SFM HK Management Ltd, a unit of Soros Fund Management, made his name by correctly predicting China inflation would surge from 2009, one year after the global financial crisis.

Soros reportedly capitalized US$8 billion (HK$62.4 billion) to US$9 billion, equal to one-third of his US$25-billion fund, to set up here.

"As the market is awash with cash and interest rates are very low, hedge funds are getting very active in equity market," said David Lui Yin-tat at Schroders Investment Management.

Soros is also believed to be eager to tap into yuan-denominated assets .

However, Soros is unlikely to be speculating on the mainland currency, said University of Science and Technology economics professor Francis Lui Ting-ming.

"The yuan is tightly controlled by Beijing, so the chance for speculation is minimal," said Lui, adding that yuan-denominated products will give a better return instead.

Soros' office is on the 35th floor of Two IFC, in which Hong Kong Monetary Authority is located.

Recently, several hedge funds, including Paulson Asia operated by John Paulson, as well as Azentus Capital, run by former Goldman Sachs star trader Morgan Sze from London and New York, have opened offices in Hong Kong.