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Hedge Fund Gains 81% in Slowing Korea by Betting on K-Pop

  • AlpenRoute’s investments include firm behind boy band BTS
  • Such investing is unproven and not for everyone, analyst says
Operations At Busan Port As U.S. Requests Japan And South Korea to Reach Standstill Agreement in Trade Spat
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

In South Korea’s sputtering economy, where stocks have been falling since the start of last year, one way to generate returns has been in the risky world of startup investment.

One hedge fund firm, AlpenRoute Asset Management, has gained 81% in its flagship fund since inception in July 2016, by investing in unlisted companies such as the firm behind K-pop boy band BTS. AlpenRoute, which oversees about 1 trillion won ($836 million), benefited as revenue at Big Hit Entertainment Co. more than doubled last year on the success of BTS.