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Norway’s Financial Regulator to Allow Hedge Funds

Bloomberg (Finansavisen) reports that Kredittilsynet, Norway’s financial industry watchdog, is recommending the country allows investment companies to offer hedge funds and other “special funds”.

In its comments to a proposal for new securities legislation, Kredittilsynet would also allow investments in venture, private equity and derivatives funds.

Fund managers that already hold licences to operate in Norway would be permitted to offer clients the wider range of funds. The proposal would also apply to fund managers in countries that Norway has regulatory cooperation agreements with, the financial authority said.

According to the proposal, only professional investors such as institutions and wealthy individuals would be allowed to invest in the new funds, with a minimum investment of 500,000 kroner ($81,000).

The move reflects a wider trend evident in Europe to embrace hedge fund investing. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers May 2004 report entitled, NLG¢…”The Regulations and Distribution of Hedge Funds in Europe Changes and Challenges”, from a regulatory viewpoint, national regulators are showing an increasing acceptance of hedge funds and products using hedge fund techniques. For example, in Portugal, new rules have been introduced to provide a basis for launching hedge funds. Countries in Europe in which domestic domiciled hedge funds already exist include Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

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