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Fearing financial trouble hedge funds flee Morgan Stanley

Hindu Business Line – Worried that global financial services provider Morgan Stanley may land into financial troubles like Lehman Brothers, several hedge funds fled the bank resulting in a loss of billions of dollars in its prime brokerage business last week, a media report says.

“Many of the world’s biggest hedge funds moved their assets to commercial banks regarded as safer last week, as they and their investors worried that Morgan Stanley could follow Lehman into trouble,” the Financial Times said.

Quoting people familiar with the business Financial Times said, “Losses will deal a big blow to Morgan Stanley as its prime brokerage is one of its most profitable and successful businesses.”

The withdrawal of client assets is likely to make Morgan Stanley’s business less profitable by restricting its ability to fund loans to hedge funds from balances left by other hedge funds, FT added.

Hedge funds are pooled investment funds, usually a private partnership that seeks to maximise absolute returns using a broad range of strategies, including unconventional and illiquid investments.

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