PruLev Hedge Fund Soars 9.5% in January, Bets on Trump StanceBy
Aided by gains in all asset classes, fund says in newsletter
2016 return stands out against lacklustre peer performance
The PruLev Global Macro Fund, among Asia’s top-performing hedge funds, advanced 9.5 percent in January and is betting on what it calls Donald Trump’s “pragmatic and pro-business stance.”
Last month’s return brings the fund’s three-year gain to a cumulative 332 percent, according to preliminary figures in a newsletter, making it the best-performing fund betting on macroeconomic developments during that period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. U.S. President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership will open investment opportunities through changes to trade alliances and agreements, PruLev said in the newsletter.
“The fund has positioned itself to benefit from the pragmatic and pro-business stance of the new Trump administration,” PruLev said in the newsletter. “After Trump’s election victory, the Fund has been increasing holdings in equities of U.S. and its main trading partners.”
PruLev is bullish on Trump’s prospects even as global hedge fund managers such as Ray Dalio have soured on the U.S. president’s policies. Dalio, who in November was optimistic on Trump’s ability to stimulate the economy, is now saying the a populist stance may overwhelm the benefits of his pro-business agenda. Billionaire George Soros, who has called Trump a “con-man” and would-be dictator, said last month that the stock market rally will come to an end.
Trump’s victory in November set off shock waves in global financial markets, fueling demand for risk-on bets that lifted the dollar and touched off one of the biggest ever post-election rallies in stocks. The S&P 500 Index added 1.8 percent last month, bringing its total gain since the end of October to 7.2 percent. PruLev’s gain was fueled by the equity rally, and helped especially by advances of stocks in Singapore, China, Japan, Canada, the U.S. and Switzerland, according to the newsletter.
PruLev rose 34 percent last year, standing out as many of the world’s biggest hedge funds struggled to make money amid low interest rates and interventions by central banks. Funds betting on economic developments returned 3.4 percent last year, according to data provider Eurekahedge Pte, making it the second-worst performer.
Equities added 6.6 percentage points to the fund’s January returns, leading gains among asset classes. Bonds, commodities and currencies also contributed, with bets on the Australian and New Zealand dollars to strengthen against the U.S. dollar paying off.
The PruLev fund, which started in February 2012 with $7.2 million of assets, managed $78.1 million in January, according to preliminary figures from the newsletter. The fund has gained a cumulative 880 percent since its inception.