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Standard & Poor's is planning to launch the S&P Equity Long/Short Index, which will be the latest addition to its growing range of hedge fund indices.


The index expands out the five Equity Long/Short funds represented in the flagship S&P Hedge Fund Index, adding 19 funds for a broader, more representative single strategy index.


The S&P Equity Long/Short Index is designed to represent the range of hedge funds that relies on fundamentally driven, bottom-up research for long and short stock picks, and that attempts to create alpha on both sides of the market while limiting overall portfolio risk. The S&P Equity Long/Short Index includes 24 funds screened for asset size, tenure, and style purity. The index includes two regional sub-indices: one with a U.S. focus and one with a Global-Ex-U.S. focus, each comprising 12 funds.


"Since the launch of the S&P Hedge Fund Index in October 2002, we have seen a tremendous surge in interest for additional indices tracking various segments of the hedge fund universe," said Paul Aaronson, executive managing director, Standard & Poor's. "Investors have shown confidence in Standard & Poor's high standards for transparency, investability and representativeness and we expect the S&P Equity Long/Short Index will offer similar market appeal as our composite hedge fund index and the S&P Managed Futures Index launched last year."


"Recently, significant trends in the world's economy have highlighted opportunities for equity long/short strategies, including the rise in commodity prices and the decline in the U.S. dollar," said Justin Dew, senior hedge fund specialist, Standard & Poor's. "These trends, coupled with the bottom-up stock analysis approach employed by most long/short managers, could provide the basis for many trading opportunities going forward." He added, "The S&P Long/Short Equity Index will provide both a consistent measurement tool for benchmarking the performance of managers in the strategy as well as offer an index that can be used as the basis for investable products that track its returns."
Like the other S&P Hedge Fund Indices, the S&P Equity Long/Short Index is investable through a managed account structure with constituent funds guaranteeing at least USD 100 million in new capacity to licensed products that will track the index. PlusFunds holds a license to develop investment products that are designed to replicate the index.


The list of 24 constituents has been released and more information including daily calculations, methodology, pro forma performance data will be available shortly on http://www.hedgefundindex.standardandpoors.com<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


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