BlackRock has bolstered its long/short absolute return fund range with the launch of an Asia Pacific-focused fund, Citywire Selector can reveal.
The BlackRock Strategic Funds (BSF) Asia Pacific Absolute Return fund is designed for investors looking to boost returns above traditional equity and bond exposures.
The launch of this fund comes shortly after the announcement of a new UK equity long/short strategy.
The new fund will be co-managed by Oisin Crawley, who is co-head of research for the Asian equities team, and Citywire AAA-rated Andrew Swan, who is head of Asian equities at BlackRock.
They will be supported by 21 investment professionals based in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The liquid equity long/short fund is Ucits-compliant and will target positive absolute returns regardless of market movements.
It will contain around 40-60 long and 40-60 short positions, including equity swaps, contracts for difference, index futures or exchange-traded funds and the selective use of equity options.
The asset manager believes investors are cautious about Asia due to slowing growth in Chian, the strength of the US dollar and changes in commodity prices.
However, it said the region benefits from structural reform and a lack of analyst coverage. The new fund will exploit the under-appreciated areas of opportunity, while benefitting on the short side from internal and external pressures on companies.
Commenting on the launch, a spokesperson said: 'In an uncertain, increasingly volatile world where there are valuation headwinds for traditional exposures to both equities and fixed income, investors want new, steady sources of positive absolute return.'
'The BSF Asia Pacific Absolute Return Fund is for investors who are keen to explore what the region has to offer and want to diversify their portfolio, without taking on excessive market risk.'