The index is also divided geographically, with a sub-index for Asia-Pacific and another for Japan, made up of 26 Japan-only hedge funds.
"Absolute return funds measure their performance against cash, but investors still want to know how an individual fund is doing against its peer group," said John Hetherington, director of research at Eureka in Hong Kong.
The current data shows Asia's hedge funds have outperformed traditional long-only funds since late 2000, when the collection of data began. Asia-Pacific hedge funds increased 14% in value from December 2000 to April 2002, while Japanese hedge funds gained 11% in the same period. This compares with declines of 16% and 25% in the MSCI Index for Asia-Pacific and Japan, respectively, said Eureka Hedge Advisors.
Jerry Pang, a consultant at Eureka, added that $14 billion is invested in Asian strategies. He expected this figure to grow by more than 20% this year.