Clarium hedge fund posts gains of 57.9 percent

NEW YORK Wed Jul 9, 2008 9:53pm BST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Many hedge funds had a rough June, pummeled by falling equity and credit markets.

But not Clarium Capital, the $6.4 billion hedge fund founded by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

The San Francisco-based firm posted gains of 16 percent in June, giving it year-to-date returns of a staggering 57.9 percent, according to a note the firm sent to investors this week.

It is unclear from the note how Clarium generated such outsized returns. A Clarium representative declined immediate comment on the results.

But investors seem happy. According to the note, the firm's assets have grown to $6.4 billion by the end of June from $3.8 billion in March, likely due to both performance gains and investor capital allocations.

Clarium is a "global macro" firm that invests across a range of assets worldwide, including equity, debt, commodities and currencies, backed by leverage, or debt.

Of the 16 percent gain for June, 8.9 percent was from U.S. equity investments and 5.6 percent in foreign equity, according to the note. It is unclear whether the firm was long or short these securities.

The firm also benefited from several strong months, including in January, when it posted a 24.4 percent gain -- a time when many hedge funds were suffering. Other strong months included May, when it was up 11.2 percent, and April, when it was up 6.3 percent, according to the note. In March, the firm posted a 9.9 percent loss, however.

The gains come at a time when the average hedge fund is in negative territory for the year, according to industry tracker Hedge Fund Research. In June, the average hedge fund was down 0.68 percent. Year-to-date they were down 0.75 percent, HFR said.

But the one bright spot in the HFR index was short-bias funds, which bet on market declines. Short bias funds posted year-to-date gains of 12.2 percent, including 8.6 percent gains in June alone, said HFR.

Global macro funds also performed well, generating returns of 7.14 percent year-to-date and 1.75 percent in June, according to HFR.

(Editing by Andre Grenon)

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