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Some prominent hedge funds hurt by tech are back with gains

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) - For some hedge funds hurt by tumbling technology stocks earlier this year, tenacity has been a virtue.

Andor Capital and Tiger Global Management, two of the industry's most closely watched investment firms, delivered good news to clients as they finalized first-half returns.

Tiger Global, which oversees $14.5 billion in hedge fund and private equity portfolios and was founded by Chase Coleman, told investors that the hedge fund portfolio rose 6 percent in June, leaving it up 15.25 percent for the year, said an investor who is not permitted to discuss the portfolio publicly.

Tiger Global's hedge fund portfolio, run by Feroz Dewan, was flat going into May and delivered an 8 percent gain that month.

A spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment.

Andor Capital, run by Dan Benton, delivered even bigger gains, reporting a 19.5 percent rise in June, which almost wiped out the year's losses. Andor is now down 1.5 percent for the first six months of 2014, an investor in his fund said.

For Tiger Global, Andor and a handful of other firms it was a rough start to 2014, with many of the chalking up rare losses in March when technology stocks crumbled. Philippe Laffont's Coatue Management had lost 8.7 percent in March while John Thaler's JAT Capital Management lost 9 percent in March.

Still, these managers stuck by their bets, even as clients worried about quickly global economies would recover and how central banks would react to growth.

Benton, who had been called one of the greatest tech investors when he worked with Art Samberg at Pequot Capital Management, listed five tech stocks as his biggest holdings.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc, his biggest bet, gained roughly 11 percent in June. Twitter Inc, which had tumbled 35 percent this year and rebounded 26 percent in the last month, was his second-largest position.

He also held Google Inc, Apple Inc and Facebook Inc, stocks that have been very popular with a many hedge funds.

Benton had closed Andor Capital during the financial crisis but came back in 2011, first managing his own cash and then taking on family and friends plus a few outside clients.

With the S&P 500 index up 7.4 percent for the year and the Dow industrials closing above 17,000 for the first time on Thursday, hedge fund returns have been largely lackluster this year. Funds have returned, on average, only 1.77 percent, early data from Hedge Fund Research shows, results that have prompted frustration among big investors such as pension funds.

David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital rose 1.6 percent in June and is up 6.7 percent for the year, while Barry Rosenstein's JANA Partners fund returned 1.6 percent in June and is up 5.3 percent this year. William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management climbed 2.4 percent in June and is up 25 percent.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss)

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