WINNERS are emerging from the hedge fund sector’s dramatic comeback in May, with groups like Odey and GLG now trumpeting net gains as high as 35 per cent this year so far. <br /><br />Hedge fund managers are saying investments in banks and emerging markets paid off last month, while recent research claimed May saw the vehicles muster some of their best returns in almost a decade. <br /><br />Crispin Odey, the Mayfair-based hedge fund heavyweight, has now returned 34.9 per cent on his flagship Odey European Fund in the year to the end of May thanks in large part to a well-timed investment in Barclays bank, which has rebounded.<br /><br />Odey Asset Management chief executive David Stewart told City A.M. that Barclays, which saw its shares tumble in 2008 and early this year, was picked after it avoided giving a majority stake to the Treasury in return for bailout funds.<br /><br />A play on German semiconductor group Infineon Technologies, which supplies chips for Apple’s iPhone, has also paid off. But asked whether he expects the rebound to continue at its current level, Stewart added: “Let’s be realistic – bull markets don’t always happen in a straight line.” <br /><br />GLG Partners, the hedge fund co-founded by Pierre Lagrange, has also seen its funds gain 10.3 per cent on average this year. <br /><br />Markets like China, which have led the global market rallies, are being thanked by GLG for the gains. <br /><br />US hedge fund research group Hennessee Group said this week its key hedge fund index advanced by 5.7 per cent in May amid the equity rebound, taking the funds to an overall 11.4 per cent gain this year.<br /><br /> And rival study group Hedge Fund Research said last week that funds posted the best single-month returns seen since February 2000. It said key funds added 5.2 per cent on average to total a nine per cent rise this year.