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Westpac freeze on $1.2b held in US hedge fund

Sydney Morning Herald – The Westpac-controlled BT Investment Management delivered grim season’s greetings to retail investors when it froze withdrawals from a $1.2 billion fund days before Christmas.

The funds manager suspended all redemptions from its Global Return Fund, which has invested in international hedge funds since 2001 and into which investors have each poured a minimum $50,000.

"BT Investment Management has decided to suspend redemptions from the fund … as we believe, because of unstable market conditions, assets cannot be realised at prices that would be obtained in a stable market," Dirk Morris, the chief executive of BT Investment Management, wrote to investors. "At this point, we are unable to ascertain when the suspension will be lifted."

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