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BlackRock Sees Asian Demand in Illiquid Hedge-Fund Assets

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, said there is rising demand from Asia-Pacific investors for less liquid hedge-fund investments as European and U.S. financial institutions clean up their balance sheets.

More than half of the money BlackRock’s fund of hedge funds division drew from regional investors since January 2011 is dedicated to longer-term, special-situations investments, such as direct lending to companies that need cash and mortgage-backed securities, said Joseph Pacini, the Asia-Pacific head of Alternative Investment Strategy Group. Two-thirds of the allocation was made in the past year as macroeconomic concerns eased, he said.