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Arbitrage Lures Gabelli, Huntington After 920 Hedge Funds Fail

Bloomberg – Mario Gabelli is buying Wyeth to book a 13 percent profit from its takeover by Pfizer Inc. Managers at Cohen & Steers Inc. are scooping up closed-end funds trading at a 16 percent discount to the value of their holdings. Huntington Asset Advisors Inc. is betting the widest gap between silver and gold prices in 14 years will narrow.

A year ago, these so-called arbitrage strategies would have been favorites of hedge funds whose debt-fueled trading squeezed out other investors. Since then, the credit-market seizure wiped out about 920 of the 10,096 funds in business at the start of 2008, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc. The survivors have reduced borrowing to close to nothing, according to Rasini & C., a London-based investment adviser.

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