Polar freezes dealing in Asia ex Japan fund

Polar Capital Partners last week suspended dealing in its Dublin-based Asia ex Japan fund, managed by Emil Wolter, as it prepares to close the fund.

Polar Capital says the decision to close the fund “follows a period of disappointing relative performance that has resulted in the receipt of significant redemptions from the fund over the past few months.

“Volatility in the markets has made it difficult to sell certain assets in the fund at prices that reflect an appropriate value in the view of the manager.

“Therefore, the directors were of the opinion that should any further redemption requests be received from shareholders, the fund may not be in a position to realise the fund’s assets at normal prices within the required timeframe for dealing in the fund.”

In sterling terms, the Polar Capital Asia ex Japan fund fell by 6.67% in the 12 months to February 11 compared with 17.21% by the sector average and 18.37% by the MSCI AC Asia Pacific ex Japan index, according to Morningstar.

From August 13, 2007 to February 11, 2008, the fund fell by 19.81% against 4.78% by the sector average and 7.97% by the index. Over three years to February 11, the fund returned 23.7% compared with 77.32% by the sector average and 82.93% by the index.

In January, the Polar Capital Asia ex Japan fund, which has distributor status in Britain, had assets of $69.8m (£35.4m) under management. It represented just 1.9% of Polar’s total assets under management of $3.62 billion.

Wolter, who joined in September 2004, will remain at Polar. He is also part of the emerging markets team that manages the Polar Capital Columbus fund.

In November 2007, Polar Capital launched of the Dublin-based Healthcare Opportunities fund, managed by Gareth Powell and Daniel Mahony.