Germany has pressed for greater scrutiny of the hedge fund industry ahead of the Group of Eight industrialized nations (G8) meeting being held southwest of Berlin.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck Friday urged his colleagues to back codes of conduct for the industry, to protect financial stability.  However, G8 members Britain and the United States have both expressed uncertainty about increasing regulation.

Hedge funds are lightly-regulated pools of investment money allowed to use high-risk strategies in the hope of earning large returns.  The industry controls more than $1 trillion in investment.

African representatives are also scheduled to meet with G8 ministers Friday to discuss African aid projects.

The meetings, which will last through the weekend, are in preparation for a larger G8 summit of government leaders to be held next month in the German town of Heiligendamm.

The Group of Eight is made up of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.  Germany currently holds the group's rotating presidency.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.