Rating agency Standard & Poor's has announced the launch of the S&P Hedge Fund Index and three style sub-indices. The S&P Hedge Fund Index is designed to be investable and representative of the broad-based investment experience of the hedge fund marketplace.

The calculation of daily values for the index and sub-indices provides a new level of transparency in hedge fund investing and enables investors to track the impact of specific market events on the hedge fund asset class as a whole, or on the three broad style categories tracked by the sub-indices. Standard & Poor's makes this data available to all investors through its website www.spglobal.com. S&P Hedge Fund Index data will also soon be available on Reuters and Bloomberg.

The S&P Hedge Fund Index comprises 40 funds representing nine distinct hedge fund investment strategies grouped into three broad style categories - Arbitrage, Event-Driven and Directional/Tactical. The index is equal weighted to ensure well-rounded representation of hedge fund investment approaches and to avoid over-representation of strategies that are in favor at the time.

The S&P Hedge Fund Index has been licensed to PlusFunds for the development of investment products that replicate the index. PlusFunds launched SphinX in August of this year, the first vehicle to track the S&P Hedge Fund Index and its sub-indices.