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Credit Suisse Veteran To Start SE Asian Hedge Fund

Mark Fuchs, chief executive of Singapore-based Fuchs Capital Partners, said in
an interview with Dow Jones Newswires that he is launching a hedge fund focused
on trading blue-chip, large-capitalized Southeast Asian stocks in the region in
two months.

Fuchs, the former head of Credit Suisse Group's (CS)
Southeast Asia equities division, has teamed up with two other Southeast Asian
veterans: Winston Loke, who was previously Credit Suisse's Chief Operating
Officer for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, Australia equities and Mark Maroongroge, most
recently a portfolio manager with London-based hedge fund HBK Capital
Management. He declined to elaborate on the size of the fund, however, other
than to say it will start off “modest” in size but would eventually be
“significant.”

“Everyone is investing in China and India because of the
China-India story,” said Fuchs. “But they (India and China) have an impact on
the region's growth as well.”

Southeast Asian countries' tourism
industry benefits from increased outbound travel of Chinese tourists, he said,
and their low-cost labor pool will eventually benefit from foreign companies
switching out of China and India on cost concerns.

Fuchs – who until
June last year also served on Credit Suisse's Chairman's Board for the Asia
Pacific region – has been in the region for 15 years, and helped the Swiss bank
built its equities business in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the
Philippines and Vietnam.Those are the areas, as well as Cambodia, eventually,
that the fund will be investing in.

While many investors are still wary
of expanding amid the economic slowdown, Fuchs said his experience in Southeast
Asia allowed him to look past the bad news.

“This downturn allows us to
get the first picks (of stocks and people),” he said. “The dislocation in value
is unprecedented.”

Even though the economic crisis this time around
originated in the West, Asian bourses have fared worse, falling 50% last year,
compared with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which shed 34%.

Fuchs
added that the wide range of economies in Southeast Asia would allow the fund to
tap into businesses at every stage of the business cycle.

The Southeast
Asian long-short equity fund counts high net worth individuals and institutions
among its investors. Fuchs said the initial response from investors has been
positive, but declined to disclose names of investors.

The global hedge
fund industry has been marred by record investor redemptions, especially in the
second half of last year, forcing many hedge funds to sell investments into
falling markets or close. Hedge Fund Research said 693 funds, or 6.9% of the
industry, had closed down in the first three quarters of 2008 as losses were
compounded by record monthly withdrawals of about US$77 billion in September and
October.
Source: Dow Jones

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