Equity strategies lead Van Hedge Fund Index growth

Equity-oriented strategies, after benefiting from the stock market's continued gains, have posted the highest returns for July on the Van Hedge Fund Index.

The strategies, 'aggressive growth', 'opportunistic' and 'value', returned 2.6%, 2.5% and 1.9% respectively, net of fees, according to Van Hedge Fund Advisors International. Overall, the index gained 0.9% last month, and 9.0% return for the year-to-date.

The July return is based on nearly 850 hedge funds.

The global index, excluding funds of funds, posted a 1.0% gain net of fees, bringing its year-to-date gain to 9.6%, indicating that funds of funds are slightly lagging single-manager hedge funds this year.

But for the year-to-date 2003, emerging markets funds have performed best, producing a 17.5% net return, followed by aggressive and distressed securities with year-to-date returns of 16.5% and 15.3% respectively. The emerging markets growth is attributed to the hefty gains among stocks in countries such as Brazil and Russia.

Short selling was the poorest performer, recording losses for both July (-3.4%) and the year-to-date (-14.8%).

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