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Hedge Fund Assets to Fall 11% in 2009, Study Says

Bloomberg – The global hedge fund industry may shrink by 11 percent this year as funds liquidate and investor withdrawals persist, a Deutsche Bank AG survey said.

Industry assets may fall to $1.33 trillion by December, according to 68 percent of the 1,000 investors surveyed by Germany’s largest bank last month. The respondents, which hold a combined $1.1 trillion of hedge-fund assets, on average expect outflows from the industry to accelerate to $168 billion this year, 8 percent faster than last year.

The deepest financial crisis since the 1930s led to the worst average hedge-fund performance in history last year, prompting funds managed by Citadel Investment Group LLC and D.E. Shaw & Co. LP. to limit withdrawals to stem record outflows.

“If 2008 was a story about performance of hedge funds, 2009 is very much going to be a story about restructuring,” said Sean Capstick, Deutsche Bank’s London-based global head of capital introduction. “Our survey indicates redemptions will continue as a phenomenon for the foreseeable future.”

In a March 13 note to investors, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Brad Hintz forecast hedge-fund assets to fall 18 percent this year, dropping below $1 trillion before a recovery in 2013.

The HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index retreated 18 percent in 2008, its steepest annual decline. Still, that was less than half the 42 percent slump of the MSCI World Index.

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