New York: Private equity fund raising has fallen 46 per cent worldwide to USD 45 billion in the July- September quarter this year, says research firm Preqin.

It said, 97 private equity funds raised an aggregate USD 44.8 billion -- 46 per cent decline on USD 82.8 billion that was raised by 175 funds in Q2 2011.

"Private equity fund raising was extremely challenging in the third quarter of 2011, with September a particularly slow month for fund raising; just USD 8.9 billion was raised by the 33 funds to close that month," said Preqin Senior Manager and Spokesperson Helen Kenyon.

"Although we anticipate the latest quarterly fund raising figures to improve by around 10-20 per cent as more information becomes available, fund raising in Q3 2011 is still set to fall short of the level seen in Q2, when USD 82.8 billion was raised by the 175 funds that closed in the quarter," she added.

In terms of geographic regions, North America-focused funds raised USD 22.5 billion during Q3, while those centred on Europe garnered USD 11.3 billion and funds aimed at Asia raked in a total of USD 11 billion, the report said.

The report shows that buy-out funds raised the most capital in the third quarter, with 19 funds raising USD 19.4 billion. Besides, 16 real estate funds mopped-up a total of USD 10.8 billion.

Funds that closed in the July-September quarter of 2011 took an average of 17 months to finish securing commitments, compared with on an average 20 months in 2010.