A Hedge Fund With $830 Million In Assets Went Bust After The Swiss Franc Surge

Mount everestCourtesy of AirPanoMount Everest

Hedge fund manager Marko Dimitrijevic is closing his largest hedge fund, Everest Capital’s Global Fund, having lost almost all its money after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) scrapped its three-year-old cap on the Swiss franc against the euro, Bloomberg news reported on Saturday.

Citing a person familiar with the firm, Bloomberg said the fund had been betting that the Swiss franc would decline. The fund had about $US830 million in assets at the end of 2014, according to a client report cited by Bloomberg.

It said an Everest spokesman would not comment on the fund and Dimitrijevic did not return calls.

Everest Capital, based in Miami and specializing in emerging markets, still manages seven funds with about $US2.2 billion in assets, Bloomberg said.

The SNB triggered big losses around the globe on Thursday when it removed a three-year-old cap on the value of the Swiss franc against the euro, allowing it to soar.

What Happened

More than three years of stability between the euro and Swiss franc ended suddenly this week, as the Swiss central bank abandoned attempts to cap the currency’s value.

The bank previously aimed to let the franc rise no higher than 1.20 to the euro. As soon as the change was announced, it smashed immediately higher, breaking through the previous “ceiling.”

The euro plunged against the franc, going down by nearly 28% as the news broke. Associated Press reported that in the world of currencies, a move like that “can seem as rare as Halley’s Comet.”

Foreign-exchange brokers who had relied on the stability of the Swiss franc, which until Wednesday was pegged to the euro, were taken by surprise when the Swiss National Bank abolished its controls, and millions of dollars were lost at firms around the world.

On Friday, the UK-based FX broker Alpari announced it had entered insolvency. Here’s what it said:

The recent move on the Swiss franc caused by the Swiss National Bank’s unexpected policy reversal of capping the Swiss franc against the euro has resulted in exceptional volatility and extreme lack of liquidity. This has resulted in the majority of clients sustaining losses which has exceeded their account equity. Where a client cannot cover this loss, it is passed on to us. This has forced Alpari (UK) Limited to confirm today, 16/01/15, that it has entered into insolvency.

That follows New Zealand’s Excel Markets, which made a similar statement earlier, according to the Financial Times.

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