Investing

Ron Ozer’s Hedge Fund Statar Pares Loss After Double-Digit Drop

(Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Ron Ozer, a natural gas trading specialist known for outsize bets on the volatile market, has pared his losses following double-digit declines in the second quarter.

His Miami-based Statar Capital is down about 2% this year thanks to a recovery in July, after having dropped about 13% in the three months through June, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The fund Was up 5% in the first quarter and managed $2.9 billion at the end of March, according to an investor letter.

Nearly all of the second-quarter losses came in April and May, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The fund is known for typically posting stellar returns by taking high-conviction commodity bets, mainly on natural gas. Commodity hedge funds tracked by Bloomberg were up about 8% through midyear.

A representative for Statar declined to comment.

Gas markets in both Europe and the US have been extremely volatile since April, a time of year when traders turn their focus to building up supplies for the coming winter. The price swings were exacerbated by warmer temperatures in Asia and parts of the US, an increase in maintenance across gas facilities around the globe and unplanned outages in Norway. 

The disruptions follow geopolitical concerns caused by the wars in Ukraine and Gaza. Hedge funds and banks have flocked to the market, betting that price swings will remain strong until a new wave of liquefied natural gas capacity becomes operational after 2026.

Ozer, who previously traded for Citadel and D.E. Shaw & Co., started Statar in 2018. Gas typically makes up most of the firm’s portfolio, with oil, metals, agriculture and other commodities accounting for the rest. 

Double-digit losses or gains are not uncommon for the hedge fund. The decline this year follows its first annual drop — a 0.6% decline in 2023, according to an investor document. That followed a 30% increase in 2022, and gains of more than 50% in each of the previous two years.

--With assistance from Rachel Morison, Elizabeth Elkin and Devika Krishna Kumar.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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