Global equity hedge fund Skyline Capital to close

By Maiya Keidan and Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) - Global equity hedge fund firm Skyline Capital said on Monday it is to shut after widespread weakness in emerging markets resulted in its funds posting double-digit falls in 2015.

The closure follows that of peer Nevsky Capital in December and comes amid some weak industry performance, rising costs and increased pressure on fees that a Reuters poll suggests could see even more firms fold in the coming 12 months.

Skyline, led by co-founder Geoff Bamber out of an office in London's well-heeled St James's district, had already fallen to below $100 million in assets by the end of December, Chief Operating Officer Andrew Brown said.

Despite a solid performance for the firm between 2010 and 2013, which had helped total assets grow to near $250 million, the last two years, had been more challenging for the firm's three funds, he told Reuters.

"With increased market volatility in the last 12 months ... our high quality, bottom-up approach came under pressure in the two hedge funds," Brown said.

"Despite our long-only fund having its best year of relative outperformance, we've faced outflows through 2015 and we decided it was best to close," he said, adding some redemptions had been down to changes in insurance regulation and not just returns.

Founded in 2010 by Bamber and Vernon West, who left in May last year, Skyline's 10-strong team used fundamental analysis of companies to invest globally with an emerging markets focus using themes such as the impact of automation on production.

The firm's main offshore fund was liquidated in December, Brown said. Investors in its two onshore funds, one of which was long-short and so could bet on both rising and falling share prices, were in the process of liquidating, Brown said.

The long-short fund shed 14 percent during 2015 while the long-only was down 11 percent, Brown said, against a 16 percent decline in the MSCI Emerging Market index <.dMIEF00000PUS>.

(This version of the story has been refiled with word dropped from lead)

(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Tom Heneghan)