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German government wants to limit hedge funds to professionals

(Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble wants to limit direct investment in hedge funds to professionals in order to protect private investors from risky assets, via a new bill regulating alternative investment funds, his ministry said on Wednesday.

“Interests in single hedge funds will in future only be able to be held by professional investors,” reads a draft of the bill on investments, which was published on the finance ministry’s website and is being discussed with the investment industry.

“To reinforce the protection of investors, private investors will no longer be able to invest directly in this high-risk class of investments,” says the 545-page document.

The draft bill will be submitted to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet for approval after the summer break and has to be enacted by July 2013 to comply with new European Union rules on riskier investments, said a finance ministry spokesman.

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