EUROPE – Index firm FTSE Group says its investable hedge fund index has now gone live.

It said the opening index value is based on the net asset values of constituents on May 31 2004 and that a five-year back history for the index is also available.

FTSE chief executive Mark Makepeace said: "FTSE Hedge is an investable index which provides the transparency needed by global investors seeking to access the hedge fund asset class. The early success of the index is a strong indicator that its been well received by the market."

FTSE - co-owned by the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange – said in February that it planned to launch a hedge fund product in April this year.

FTSE’s rivals Standard & Poor’s and MSCI already offer similar products. And outfits such as Hedge Fund Research launched and CSFB/Tremont unveiled investable hedge fund indices last year.

“I would congratulate FTSE and their various partners on getting their product launched in the end,” said John Godden, managing director of rival HFR Europe.

“I hope that the product succeeds given its difficult birth and wish them luck against the big three established indices (HFR, CSFB & MSCI).”