Best year for Knight Vinke

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The Independent Online

Knight Vinke, the Monaco-based activist hedge fund that has campaigned against HSBC's management over the past 14 months, has said 2008 will prove to be a record year for the fund.

Glen Suarez, who is leading the fund's campaign for HSBC to sell its US unit, said that assets under management at the fund had soared. "We've seen a 600 per cent increase since 2007," said Mr Suarez. "This is likely to be a record year for us."

His dismissed claims that the fund's campaign against HSBC had been mistimed, adding that the fund had recently called a ceasefire on the bank so as not to encourage short-selling.

A source close to HSBC said: "The idea of Knight Vinke rolling up barely more than a year ago and taking credit for the fundamentals of financial strength and experience is shallow. I don't know a credible analyst that even opens Knight Vinke emails on HSBC any more."

Mr Suarez and his team will be in London tomorrow as HSBC delivers a trading statement, which will detail the performance of its US subsidiary during the troubled third quarter of the year. Shares in HSBC closed down 0.4 per cent on Friday at 746.50p.