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Hedge Funds Fell 4.9% in 2011 as European Debt Crisis Hurt Global Stocks

Bloomberg: Hedge funds fell 4.9 percent last year as global stock markets slumped amid fears that the European sovereign-debt crisis would spread and managers struggled with increased market volatility.

The Bloomberg aggregate hedge-fund index (BBHFUNDS) dropped 0.9 percent in December, with long-short equity and multistrategy (BBHFMLTI) funds falling. Macro funds, which bet on global economic trends, rose last month and declined in 2011.

“Managers are probably happy 2011 is behind them,” said Emma Sugarman, global head of capital introduction at BNP Paribas SA in New York , which helps hedge funds meet clients. “The notion of absolute return has changed. In the past, some hedge funds were sold as absolute return, meaning they would always generate a positive return, and clearly that has not been possible.”

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