New hedge funds outpaced liquidations during the third quarter for the first time since the financial crisis began, according to a Hedge Fund Research report.

The HFR Market Microstructure Industry Report released Wednesday said 224 hedge funds were introduced in the quarter, bringing the total for the year through Sept. 30 to 554. Though fund launchings remained significantly below the average of 1,400 a year from 2002 to 2007, hedge fund introductions were on pace to exceed last year's total of 659.

Hedge fund liquidations slowed, with 190 calling it quits in the third quarter, compared with 858 in the first half. Fund closures this year are the second-highest ever, topped only by last year's 1,471.

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