Armajaro Commodities Fund Said to Plan Closing at End-July

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Armajaro Asset Management LLP plans to close its $450 million commodities fund after losing money and its lead manager, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The Armajaro Commodities Fund, run by Oliver Denny in London, lost 11 percent in the first half and will shut at the end of the month, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. John Tilney, who managed the fund since its start in 2004, retired earlier this year.

Many commodity hedge funds, which aim to make money in both bear and bull markets, lost money in the first half. The Newedge Commodity Trading index, which tracks hedge funds investing in natural resources, retreated in nine of the past 10 months.

“The first half of the year has been difficult and there’s no money going into commodities,” said Christoph Eibl, chief executive officer of Tiberius Asset Management AG, which has about $1 billion in investments.

Fund managers have been wrong-footed as commodity markets whiplashed. Since 2012, at least 10 asset managers in commodities including high-profile names such as Clive Capital LLP and Centaurus Energy LP and startups Higgs Capital Management and Mastic Investment have closed.

“Investor appetite in commodities isn’t high,” said Michael Coleman, managing director and founder of the $230 million Singapore-based Merchant Commodity Fund. The fund lost 3.9 percent in the first half after returning almost 60 percent last year, its highest annual profit.

Not all funds have lost money. Armajaro’s $500 million CC+ fund, run by Anthony Ward, will continue and has made money this year, the person said.

A spokesman for Armajaro declined to comment.

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