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US-based hedge fund D E Shaw to open Singapore office

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D E Shaw & Co will open an office in Singapore next year, joining other hedge funds expanding in the city-state to extend their reach in Asia.

[SINGAPORE] D E Shaw & Co will open an office in Singapore next year, joining other hedge funds expanding in the city-state to extend their reach in Asia.

The firm, one of the world's biggest hedge funds with more than US$50 billion in investment capital, has applied for a fund management licence from the Singapore central bank, adding to existing Asian operations in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to a statement Thursday.

D E Shaw is the latest fund management giant to open Asian offices beyond Hong Kong amid rising social and political uncertainty in the city. Billionaire Ken Griffin's Citadel announced in August it would open an office in Singapore, as is London-based Marshall Wace, the Financial Times reported last month. All three firms have offices in Hong Kong.

While Singapore hasn't been actively courting money managers worried about turmoil in Hong Kong, it has reaped some benefits. The number of single family offices in Singapore has grown in recent years to about 200, while overall assets under management rose by 16 per cent last year to S$4 trillion.

Izzy Englander's Millennium Management recently invested in Singapore-based RV Capital Management, bringing its assets under management to US$1 billion according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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"Opening an office in Singapore will further enable us to tap into the region's talent, capital, and investment opportunities," D E Shaw Group Asia Pacific general manager Kevin Patric said in the statement. "This is a logical next step in the growth of our geographic footprint."

China is a key market for New York-based D E Shaw, which was granted a fund licence there last year to raise private capital to invest in the domestic market. Fundraising for its first onshore product largely concluded in May.

The firm has also been attracting money from other parts of the world despite the pandemic. In July it was planning to raise about US$1 billion for its latest private equity-style fund, according to filings and people familiar with the matter. And in March, when it opened its doors to fresh capital for the first time in seven years, it raised US$2 billion.

Founded in 1988 by computer scientist David Shaw, the group runs one of the world's longest-running hedge funds and was among the earliest to use complex mathematical models for trading.

The company opened its Hong Kong office in 2007 and has been in Shanghai since 2010.

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