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China entrepreneur starts US$100m hedge fund with own money

[SINGAPORE] Qian Yongqiang, who made his fortune in Chinese education and tech startups, is starting a $100 million hedge fund with his own money.

Singapore-based QQQ Capital Fund will start trading in April, Head of Operations Ye Yichen said in an interview. The long-short fund will trade education, tourism and technology stocks and is targeting an annual return of 15 per cent, according to a presentation obtained by Bloomberg. The firm will use fundamental research and have a concentrated portfolio of bets on up to 30 stocks listed in Hong Kong and the U.S.

Mr Qian has seeded the fund with US$100 million of his own shares. Among his long positions are Elon Musk's Tesla Inc., according to the presentation. The shares were bought in February 2016 at an average price of US$160 and have since more than doubled.

A short bet on U.S. airline United Continental Holdings Inc. has also paid off, with the shares declining about 12 per cent since the fund initiated the position in May.

Mr Qian co-founded Chinese tutoring company New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. at the age of 21 in 1993, according to the presentation. The firm, which started with 20 students, listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006, and now boasts a market capitalization of US$14.7 billion.

In 2004, he started mobile phone company Atop Century, which was acquired two years later by U.K. mobile content company Monstermob Group Plc for US$100 million. In 2005, he invested about US $316,000 in Chinese online-dating company International Ltd., which was listed in the U.S. in 2011 and taken private in May 2016 at a valuation of US$210 million, according to the presentation.