Hedge Fund News: John Burbank, Phil Falcone & Jim Rogers

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Hedge fund moguls put money on Asian Internet, low-volume stocks (Reuters)
From Asian Internet stocks, which have boomed over the last year, to food and paper products companies, prominent hedge fund investors listed their favorite stocks on Thursday at an industry meeting dominated by talk of where markets will move. John Burbank stuck with the Chinese Internet stocks that helped boost returns at his $3.8 billion Passport Capital last year. Real estate Internet portal SouFun Holdings Ltd (NYSE:SFUN), which climbed 121 percent in the last year, and discount online retailer Vipshop Holdings, which climbed 417 percent in the last year, made the list as his favorites.

John Burbank PASSPORT CAPITAL

Hedge fund billionaires sleepless over deflation: SkyBridge’s Scaramucci (MarketWatch)
Wall Street’s hedge fund billionaires are sounding increasingly worried about deflation. MarketWatch sat down with Anthony Scaramucci, SkyBridge Capital’s founder and co-managing partner, to see if he could distill the mood at the big hedge fund conference that took place in Las Vegas this week. Scaramucci, the architect of the SALT conference, says the confab should be looked at as a gathering of contrarians. As a result, the tone emanating out of the luxurious Bellagio in past years has often been at odds with overall market sentiment.

Hedge funds work and play hard in Vegas (CNN)
Fully stocked poolside cabanas, a private Lenny Kravitz concert, and oh yeah, access to some of the top investors in the world. That was the scene at the Skybridge Alternative Investments conference at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas this week, where some of the world’s biggest hedge fund moguls, political figures and entertainers came to network, party and share ideas. “This is speed dating for hedge fund managers,” said Mitch Ackles, president of the Hedge Fund Association.

Billionaires are smarter, study says (CNBC)
Economist Paul Krugman recently wrote that the multibillion-dollar salaries of top hedge fund managers proved that education plays little role in the growing wealth gap. The rich get rich, he said, because of the “runaway financial system” and investors making money from money. “Modern inequality isn’t about graduates,” Krugman wrote. “It’s about oligarchs.” But a new study offers a different view. Jonathan Wai, a research scientist at Duke University and part of the school’s Talent Identification Program, looked at the world’s billionaires and global elite. He found that billionaires are, as a group, very highly educated and have high cognitive abilities. About a third of the world’s billionaires attended elite schools worldwide.

LightSquared Keeps Burning Cash (WSJ)
Philip Falcone‘s LightSquared blew through another $55.4 million last month, bringing the company’s total losses to $1.3 billion since it filed for bankruptcy two years ago. In a monthly operating report filed Thursday with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, LightSquared again attributed a bulk of the losses to interest payments on its debt. In April, those payments totaled $36.9 million, bringing the amount of interest paid to $788.2 million since the wireless venture’s May 2012 Chapter 11 filing. LightSquared’s case had another major glitch last week when Judge Shelley Chapman threw out its restructuring plan, calling it a “sophisticated shell game” engineered by Mr. Falcone to be too unfair to DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) -0.33% Chairman Charlie Ergen, the largest holder of LightSquared bank debt.

Darden books $2.1 billion price for Red Lobster seafood chain (GlobalPost)
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) said it would sell Red Lobster to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion in cash, defying activist investors who opposed plans to shed the struggling seafood chain. Darden said the sale was not subject to shareholder approval and should close in the quarter ending in August. Its shares were down 4.1 percent at $48.62 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Hedge fund Starboard Value LP, which owns about 5.5 percent of Darden’s outstanding shares, opposed a sale or spinoff of Red Lobster, saying it could destroy as much as $800 million of shareholder value.

Next week’s earnings could buck negative trend: Cramer (CNBC)

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