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Ospraie to shut flagship commodity hedge fund

Published on September 4, 2008

Ospraie to shut flagship commodity hedge fund

September 4, 2008

Ospraie, It took 8 years to reach where it was, one of the largest commodities fund. It took nearly (or less than) 8weeks for it to close! According to a news published on Reuters, Ospraie Management LP is shutting its flagship commodity hedge fund after losing 27% in August and almost 40% this year, according to a letter that the firm sent to investors on Tuesday.

Ospriae Fund Ltd., which had roughly $2.8 billion in assets at the start of August, is (was) one of the largest commodity hedge funds in the world. It’s down 38.59% so far this year; it plunged 27% in August on losses in energy, mining and natural resources equity holdings, making it one of the biggest ever closures of a commodities-focused hedge fund.

Dwight Anderson, founder of the firm, launched Ospraie Fund in February 2000 and generated annual returns of 15% until the end of 2007. The firm, one of the most influential in commodities markets, still manages more than $4 billion in assets, including $1.2 billion in a special opportunities fund. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH ) bought 20 % in the firm few years back (April 2005). Fast forward 3 years, Ospraie is closing down, and Lehman is on Sale (almost). The landscape is entirely different. This also serves a reminder that the past performance doesn’t mean future performance will be similar. And in today’s world, complacency has no place.

Since losses suffered by Ospraie Fund have exceeded 30%, investors don’t have to abide by its “lockup.” Lockups tie investors’ money into a fund for a specific period — usually between three months and a year. But the lockup provision for the Ospraie Fund disappears if losses top 30%, so this allows investors to pull their money more quickly.

The Fantastic fours (POT, MOS, CF and MON) are all weak, giving technical signals of bearish trends. I am not sure but it might be quite possible that other commodities funds are also strugling and want to get out of the these underlyings. These stocks had wonderful runs, and don’t be surprised if we continue to see downtrend for a while with dead cat bounces along the way.  

Profitable trading, OP

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