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The growth in sophisticated long/short equity managers in London over the past two years has contributed to an explosion in trading using Contracts for Difference (CFDs), rather than the underlying exchange listed securities. Prime brokers, sensing a new business opportunity, are sharpening up their software in response to the changing needs of their clients.

'Frankly all equity hedge funds should be using CFDs,' says Nick Wilson at Lehman Brothers in London. 'They are simple to use to gain lever

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