ECONOMY

Uncertainty spreads worry at hedge funds

Political developments in Greece are having an impact on hedge funds too, especially those that had bet on the country’s recovery and can now see ominous clouds gathering overhead.

“Many jobs will be lost and offices will shut down due to Greece,” a leading analyst said while describing the situation in London. In New York, meanwhile, hedge fund officials specializing in Greece are missing out on their annual bonuses.

“There is great concern, particularly among smaller hedge funds that built up major positions in Greek assets,” said a top official at a German investment bank. “In recent years, many firms, mostly London-based, had hired analysts, traders and managers for the Greek market and now many of those jobs will go,” he added.

An example of that is Hines: The US property investment company recently opened a Greek office to invest about 500 million euros in the local real estate market, but in early December the firm’s fund manager announced that “the political risk has grown,” and reliable sources say the company’s local presence will now be reduced.