US billionaire Marc Lasry's junk fund stops reporting asset levels amid market turmoil

Bllionaire Marc Lasry.
Bllionaire Marc Lasry. PHOTO: REUTERS

BOSTON (REUTERS) - A junk bond fund run by billionaire Marc Lasry's Avenue Capital Management, which has experienced heavy investment losses and investor withdrawals, has stopped voluntarily reporting daily asset figures to the mutual fund industry's top two tracking firms.

Research chiefs for Morningstar and Lipper said on Monday (Jan 12) they had not received daily asset under management figures from the Avenue Credit Strategies Fund since about mid-December. The fund is not required to report the figures, but not doing so is "very unusual," said Jeff Tjornehoj, head of Americas research for Lipper, a Thomson Reuters unit.

People familiar with the situation said outflows from the Avenue Capital fund had become a distraction after an unrelated junk bond fund in early December imploded. Junk bond investors already were on edge, pulling US$3.6 billion from high-yield funds in November, according to Morningstar data.

The Avenue Credit Strategies Fund has lost about 40 per cent of its US$1.2 billion in assets since the end of October. The fund currently has about US$650 million to US$700 million in assets, with about 15 percent in cash holdings and less than 5 percent in illiquid investments, according to people familiar with the situation. Avenue Capital was not immediately available to comment.