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New US hedge fund launches rebound in 2007, says survey

New hedge fund launches in the United States so far this year are up sharply over the same period in 2006, according to a survey carried out for Absolute Return magazine, which is published by information and research provider HedgeFund Intelligence.

Between January and June, 72 new funds began trading with a total of USD14bn in assets, significantly more than in the same period in 2006, when the 51 new funds launched raised USD11.7bn.

This year, three funds were launched with more than USD1bn in assets, in contrast to the first half of 2006, when only one fund managed exceeded the billion-dollar mark. Domestic long/short equity funds have dominated launches so far this year, with 28 funds that raised a total of USD4.7bn, up from 19 launches and USD2.9bn in the same period last year.

The biggest launch so far this year is Carlyle Group's Carlyle Bluewave, a multistrategy fund that began trading with an estimated USD2bn, followed by Minneapolis-based CarVal Investors' CVI Global Value Fund, a distressed portfolio that raised USD1.4bn.

San Francisco-based GMN Capital's GMN Master Fund raised USD1bn, followed by Paulson Credit Opportunities II Credit with USD730m. The Samlyn Onshore Fund, Ionic Capital Master Fund and Brigade Leveraged Capital Structures Fund all raised USD600m, the P2 Capital Fund and Sandelman Partners Event-Driven Fund USD500m, and the Glenview Opportunity Funds USD440.

According to Absolute Return, this year's new funds are highly diversified in terms of strategy, with the 10 largest new funds almost equally split between US equity, global and multistrategy portfolios.

Other new niche strategies this year have include five healthcare funds with combined assets of USD860m and a natural resources fund with USD61m, as well as a pair of asset managers in Brazil that raised nearly USD100m in total.

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