Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Edward Lampert, Bridgewater Associates, CCUR Holdings Inc (CCUR), Simpson Manufacturing Co, Inc. (SSD), and More

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Sears CEO Under Pressure from Sears Canada Creditors as Retirees Seek Pension Funds (CNBC)
Sears Canada creditors are calling out Eddie Lampert, the erstwhile controlling shareholder of the bankrupt retailer and the current chief executive of Sears Holdings, for receiving dividend payments as the Canadian business crumbled in 2017. Late last week, a group of pensioners served court papers in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, requesting the appointment of a trustee in Sears Canada’s bankruptcy proceeding who would look for more funds for those creditors. Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, were “major beneficiaries” of roughly $3 billion in dividend payments since 2005, the papers said.

Bridgewater Takes Short Bet Against Europe Stocks to $14 Billion (Bloomberg)
The world’s biggest hedge fund isn’t done betting against European equities. Bridgewater Associates LP now has wagers valued at $14 billion that stocks will decline in the region after it disclosed a $1 billion short bet against Munich-based engineering firm Siemens AG. The value of the firm’s short bets in Europe has more than quadrupled this month. Bridgewater has been building positions against Italian companies including Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Enel SpA and Eni SpA ahead of national elections in March.

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Investor Soros Pledges New Donation to Pro-EU Group (Reuters)
(Reuters) – Billionaire financier George Soros will pledge an additional 100,000 pounds ($138,130) to Best for Britain, a campaign group seeking to keep Britain in the European Union, the group said in an email to Reuters. Soros, who donated 400,000 pounds to the campaign last week, will match any donations given to Best for Britain up to 100,000 pounds after attacks against him in the right-wing press, the group said. “I am happy to take the fight to those who have tried to use a smear campaign, not arguments, to prop up their failing case,” Soros told the Guardian, which had reported on the donation earlier on Sunday.

Commentary: Oil Prices Tumble as Hedge Funds Liquidate Record Bullish Position (Reuters)
LONDON (Reuters) – Hedge funds have started to liquidate some of their record bullish positions in crude oil and refined fuels as the rally has gone into reverse and amid signs that U.S. shale production is surging. Hedge funds and other money managers cut their combined net long position in the six most important futures and options contracts linked to petroleum by the equivalent of 41 million barrels in the week to Feb. 6. The combined net long position has been cut by a total of 63 million barrels over the two most recent weeks after being raised by 258 million barrels over the previous five weeks.

Maverick Capital, a $10.5 Billion Hedge Fund, is Betting Big that the Smartphone Market Has Hit a ‘Tipping Point’ (Business Insider)
Maverick Capital, the $10.5 billion hedge fund run by Lee Ainslie, is betting big against the smartphone market. The firm said in a January 30 letter to investors that its largest collective short position is companies that it thinks will be negatively impacted by a slowdown in the smartphone market. Smartphone sales declined slightly in 2017, reversing a trend of rapid growth over the past decade, as Business Insider’s Steve Kovach reported.

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