Survey: Hedge Funds Halfway Home, May Dump Another $200 Billion

Nov 25 2008 | 12:15pm ET

Hedge funds are about halfway done dumping assets to reduce leverage, and may unload another $200 billion to complete the deleveraging process, according to a new survey.

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s survey found that 63% of hedge fund managers agreed that the unwinding of assets is at least half completed, while 23% are more optimistic, said the process was three-quarters completed. The survey was based on interviews in with managers of more than 65 hedge funds overseeing a combined $100 billion.

The amount of gross leverage used by hedge funds fell to 142% of assets from 175% in 2006 and 2007, the report said. Fifty-two percent of managers surveyed said the process of investor withdrawals is complete and transfers of money to clients to be done by the end of the first quarter, while 41% said they think half of redemptions are yet to come.

About 16% of the hedge funds surveyed invest in emerging markets, 10% in fixed-income strategies and 8% in macro.

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