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An open government group has filed public records requests to force two of California’s largest pension funds to reveal details of hedge fund investments. The California First Amendment Coalition filed requests Tuesday to force the $182.9 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the $63 billion University of California pension and endowment fund to divulge information about debt levels at the hedge funds they invest in. The coalition, which includes The Associated Press among several news media companies that are members, wants to know if the pension systems are exposed to significant losses rumored at some big hedge funds. In its request under the California Public Records Act, the coalition also wants information on management fees and types of hedge funds in the portfolios. CalPERS and the university endowment, which provides pensions to university retirees, said they were complying with much of the coalition’s request and are committed to being open about their investments. “They’ve overstated the so-called lack of transparency,’” CalPERS spokeswoman Patricia Macht said. She said hedge funds account for about $1 billion of the pension fund. Hedge funds are a kind of mutual fund that requires a large initial investment, often favored by wealthy or institutional investors. They are loosely regulated and don’t hold stocks or bonds long, as most funds do, but rather buy and sell quickly hoping to maximize returns. Also, hedge funds earn returns by betting a stock’s price will fall as often as they bet it will rise. The university has $314 million invested in hedge funds and receives about 8 percent a year in returns on such investments, UC spokesman Trey Davis said. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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