Investors yanked a net $4.6 billion from hedge funds in March, according to eVestment, marking the fifth month out of six where redemptions exceeded allocations. The March figures brought the first quarter outflow to $14.35 billion, a rare stretch of extended rejection for a multi-trillion dollar hedge fund industry accustomed to growth. Pension funds, university endowments and insurers have increasingly put hedge funds on the chopping block after years of uneven performance and scrutiny about their fees.
As signs of stress emerge in China’s huge corporate bond market, investors are getting a new message, Beijing may not be as ready as they thought to bail out troubled companies. Issuance of corporate debt ramped up in earnest around 2010, making China’s $900 billion corporate bond market one of the worlds largest. There have been 22 bond defaults in China’s domestic market this year, as many as all of 2015. That number might seem small, given that China has more than 3,900 domestic issuers with outstanding debt. But this year’s jump in defaults, mainly by state run firms, which account for around 70% of the corporate bond market, has shaken investors long held assumption that if such companies had trouble paying back creditors, the government would have their back. Already, the premium investors are willing to pay for the highest rated Chinese company bonds over the debt of riskier companies rated at single A has widened to an all-time high, based on their yields.