(Bloomberg) — Investor interest in hedge funds betting on distressed credit is growing as weaker economic growth creates more investment opportunities, according to Morgan Stanley.

Almost half of investors surveyed by the U.S. bank's prime brokerage unit said they may start due diligence on distressed credit hedge funds over the next six to 12 months, according to a report compiled by analysts John Schlegel, Ann McNerney and Vasileios Prassas. It's the credit strategy attracting the most attention, they wrote. An official at the bank declined to comment on the note.

Investors are being tempted by the 6.2% gains this year by hedge funds betting on distressed assets and restructuring, more than double the returns posted by the broader HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index, according to data from industry tracker Hedge Fund Research Inc.

Oaktree Capital Group, the world's largest distressed debt fund, is preparing for "a bonfire of distress," money manager Armen Panossian said in a report last month.

Funds including Halcyon Capital Management and CVC Capital Partners have also geared up to buy discounted debt in Europe, betting that the U.K.'s vote to exit the European Union will increase volatility and mispricings.

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