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By Nishant Kumar
LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Hedge fund veteran Alvaro Ventosa is preparing to launch his own fund, aiming to bet on rising and falling stocks in the utilities, energy and infrastructure sectors.
Ventosa, who left Cygnus Asset Management in 2011 after being one of its founding partners, is setting up a firm dubbed Alvento Capital, having managed a similar fund for carbon and energy investment firm and adviser CF Partners until last year.
Alvento, to be based in London, will launch the hedge fund in June with start-up capital of up to $200 million, Ventosa told Reuters in an e-mail, adding the fund had a capacity to manage $700 million.
"Our universe is long-duration assets which are heavily impacted by interest rates and inflation," Ventosa said.
His investment focus will also include commodity businesses, where volatility and uncertainty have increased, and Brazil, whose Northeast region is suffering its worst drought in decades, threatening hydro-power supplies and potentially slowing economic growth.
"All these factors make our investment universe as interesting as I have ever seen it in my 16 years of experience," the former Morgan Stanley executive said.
The fund can invest globally but will initially focus on Europe and Latin America.
Ventosa left CF Partners in December. The CFP Equity Fund he managed had peak assets of about $150 million and gained 10 percent last year and 14 percent in 2013.
A CF Partners spokesman said the firm had hired Adam Abrahams, a former Merrill Lynch trader, as a co-portfolio manager, and Karolis Ramanauskas from Blue Edge Capital Partners in a team of six people to manage the hedge fund. (Additional reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Carolyn Cohn and David Holmes)