Against a backdrop of extreme volatility, the fund declined -2.8%, bringing the full year drawdown to -19.4%.
An utterly frustrating month to end a dismal year. We were flat on the month going into Christmas, principally due to gains in our currency positions, long JPY and short AUD, which contributed +2.03%. However, with Trump “goosing” the market on the prospect of a China deal and an apparent (?) moderation in the Fed’s communication, the surge in markets in the final days of the month helped our long book only modestly (-2.87%), but played havoc with our option positions and individual stock shorts, with unrealised gains of 2% evaporating and leaving us with losses of similar magnitude.
At the outset, Happy New Year! All our very best for a Peaceful, Healthy, Joyous 2019!
The Tantallon India Fund closed +0.46% in December, a quiet close in the face of substantial market volatility, affirming the underlying strength in Indian business fundamentals, nudging investors to take the long view as lower crude prices and attractive valuations allow for a re-set in the risk/reward equilibrium in Indian equities.
The Fund fell 1.7% in December as global markets fell 7.7%. Our cash position at over 60% helped cushion the fall and our top-2 positions were flat for the month.
While the December result improved our relative result for the year somewhat, 2018 was a poor year for the fund with a 14.1% decline in NAV on the back of negative gross returns of 11.4%, which were no better than the global stock market decline of 11.2%.
There is so little information on Iran you cannot even find the Teheran Stock Exchange on Bloomberg. Yet this is an exchange with a market cap of US170billion, turning over up to US150m/day with zero foreign participation, entirely on the back of domestic mutual fund and retail investors.
In Lv’iv on the morning of my departure I attended the funeral of one of the casualties of the “anti-terrorist operation” in Donetsk. Loudspeakers relayed polyphonic chant from impressively hirsute Orthodox clergy to a cluster of old women and an honor guard, smoking furiously and in no mood to be photographed, waiting to transport the hearse the short distance from the altar to a waiting ambulance.
The Tantallon Fund commenced trading in November 2003 with US5.5m in assets.
In 2005 the Tantallon Fund was named Best Asian Hedge Fund and in 2006 Best Local Hedge Fund (Singapore)
We experienced explosive asset growth, with the fund soft-closing in October 2005 at US450million and hard-closing in January 2008 at US1.5billion. Peak assets, in all products, were US1.7 billion at the end of March 2008
During the financial panic of 2008 we waived 4 consecutive monthly gate-able events and re-paid US1.1billion to clients who needed liquidity, placing our client interests ahead of any business considerations.
The majority of fund AUM is currently internal capital.
Despite this extreme volatility in assets, our commitment to the business has not wavered.
Nick Harbinson and Alex Hill are the principals of Tantallon Capital Advisors, the advisory company to the Fund. We have known and worked with each other since 1990, and have between us over 60 years of investment experience in Asia. Experience in multiple market cycles has honed our ability to identify secular and cyclical economic trends, as well as catalytic triggers. We combine top-down macroeconomic themes with bottom-up stock picking, as well as complementary individual skills with deep sell and buy side industry experience and market knowledge.
Current AUM : US$30 million
YTD results : -19.44%
Lifetime results : +96.45%
Current AUM : US$32 million
YTD results :-22.79%
Lifetime results :+16.03%
Current AUM : US$12 million
YTD results :-14.1%
Lifetime results :+6.9%
In total, our principal investment team has over 80 years of experience in investing and financial markets. On average, our investment professionals have over 27 years of experience. The team today has weathered good times and bad times, bull and bear markets, staying together and remaining committed to our goal of achieving superior investment returns over the long term for our clients. Collectively, we are also significant investors in our funds. Our personal interests and those of our clients are completely aligned.