Afternoon Aggregate News: Morgan Stanley Settles MBIA, Hunter Global Closes, Falcone’s Deal

Morgan Stanley Agrees To Settle MBIA Suit, Forecasts $1.2 Billion Charge (Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley (MS) reached a settlement with MBIA Inc. (MBI) over credit-default swaps that led to billions of dollars of losses for the bank, agreeing to terminate the contracts and drop a challenge to the insurer’s restructuring. Accoring to court papers. Funds run by New York-based Fir Tree Partners dropped out of a similar lawsuit by hedge funds and Third Avenue Trust, also based in New York, ended a separate case in October. Five of 18 banks that sued MBIA and the New York State Insurance Department including UBS AG, BNP Paribas SA, and Bank of America are still fighting the split.

Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Group Enters Into A Purchase Instruction With Credit Suisse Securities, Selling $SPB (Insider Monkey)

After Philip Falcone was investigated by the SEC, his Harbinger Group filed a SEC 13D and reported 53.1% activist stake in Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. (SPB) on December 13th. According to the amended 13D filing, through its wholly-owned subsidiary HGI Funding LLC, Harbinger Group entered into a purchase instruction with Credit Suisse Securities and established a trading plan “to effect purchases of up to $30 million in Shares” in Spectrum. Credit Suisse will have the authority to purchase the shares from December 13th, 2011 to May 15th, 2012, or until the Purchase Instruction is terminated ahead.

HARBINGER

Looking For Gold In Water Investments (Reuters)

Money manager Bill Brennan spends most of his waking hours thinking about something most Americans take for granted: water. Mr. Brennan, a portfolio manager of the San Diego-based Summit Global Management, a 12-year-old hedge fund established by John Dickerson. For a water bull like Mr. Brennan, the absence of competition is an opening. He said he regularly looks at about 400 companies that derive at least one-third of their revenue from water-related businesses. Some of the businesses on his potential shopping list include pump or filter companies, as well as engineering and construction.

Hunter Global Investors Is Closing Its Doors (FINalternatives)

Hedge fund Hunter Global Investors is closing its doors, citing poor performance in recent months. Founder Duke Buchan, a former Maverick Capital managing director, said he’ll return a “substantial portion” of Hunter’s $1 billion next month. Buchan wrote: “It has been distressing for me to know, despite our best efforts, the extent to which our recent drawdown has impacted you.” Buchan founded the New York-based long/short shop in 2001.

Hedge Fund Fraudster Gets 20 Years (FINalternatives)

James Risher pleaded guilty to mail fraud, money laundering and illegal monetary transaction charges in September. Prosecutors say he stole more than $17 million from more than 20 people, many retired teachers and police officers from central Florida’s Polk County, as part of a Ponzi scheme that began in 2007.

ASIC Promises Hedge Fund Compliance Rules In Early ’12 (FINalternatives)

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission will reveal its rules for hedge fund disclosure early next year, reports the Investor Daily. Kim Ivey, president of the Australian arm of the Alternative Investment Management Association, said he wasn’t surprised at the lack of knowledge surrounding hedge fund illiquidity as it’s a complex issue. Australia is home to $50 billion in hedge funds. Ivey said fund managers report interest in fund of hedge funds and long/short equity strategies.

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