Although hedge funds didn’t deliver stellar returns in 2006, many of them trailing major stock indexes, their assets rose 30% to $2 trillion worldwide, Bloomberg reports, citing a report from HedgeFund Intelligence. Last year, the average hedge fund returned 13%, compared to the S&P 500 Index’s 16% return and the MSCI World Index’s 21% gain.

The fastest-growing hedge fund market is in Europe, with its hedge fund assets rising 41.5% in 2006 to $260 billion, according to the report. More than 350 managers have assets of $1 billion or more, collectively controlling $1.6 trillion. Half of them are in the U.S., 105 in Europe and 35 in Asia.

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