Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Glenn Dubin, Steven A. Cohen, Kyle Bass, Elliott Management, Southern National Banc. of Virginia, Inc (SONA), M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (MDC), and More

Billionaire Steven A. Cohen Cuts Stake in Britain’s Metro Bank Again (Reuters)
Feb 10 (Reuters) – Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve A. Cohen has cut his stake in Britain’s Metro Bank for the fifth time in just over two months following a difficult year in which the lender was engulfed in a damaging accounting scandal. Cohen and two private investment vehicles cut their stake in the lender on Feb. 5 to 4.97% from 5.81%, a filing showed on Monday. Cohen, once Metro Bank’s biggest backer, and associated entities held 9.86% of the company’s shares before Nov. 22.

Blackstone to Invest in Engineers Gate After Founder Dubin Exits (Bloomberg)
Blackstone Group Inc. will replace Canada’s biggest pension plan as the anchor investor in hedge fund Engineers Gate, whose founder Glenn Dubin retired from the firm last month. Blackstone’s investment will take the entire slice of the fund that was held by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, accounting for the majority of the firm’s $1 billion in assets, according to people familiar with the matter. The pension is withdrawing its holdings after scrutinizing the hedge fund because of poor performance and Dubin’s ties to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

Hedge-Fund Manager Deletes Tweet that US Should Let Coronavirus ‘Rampage’ through China’s Communist Party (Fox News)
Hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass targeted a Communist-backed Chinese newspaper on Sunday by saying the U.S. should abandon the country and allow the coronavirus to tear through its political party and employees of the paper. In a since-deleted tweet, Bass, the chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management, called Hu Xijin, the editor of the Global Times ‘ungrateful.’ The editor had tweeted he ‘appreciated’ U.S. aid but argued the country needed to help more with its actions instead of words. “We should take our supplies and go back home,” Bass wrote on Twitter. “Let the Chinese virus rampage through the ranks of the GT [Global Times] and the rest of the Communist Party.”

Our Evolving Industry (Preqin.com)
The Managed Funds Association (MFA) on keeping pace with the changing regulatory and market environments in the hedge fund industry. Jon Hitchon, Managing Director and COO, Two Sigma Chair, Managed Funds Association Board of Directors. For years, Preqin’s Global Hedge Fund Report has provided interesting and useful insight into our industry and its investors and this year’s is no different. Over the past year, our industry has continued to grow. Assets under management are near an all-time high and 80% of institutional investors surveyed by Preqin reported that they plan to maintain or increase their allocations to hedge funds over the longer term. And MFA has grown alongside our industry – both staff and revenue have doubled in size. Part of this growth is to help members meet the demands we feel from our client base. Institutional investors are becoming more and more sophisticated.

Frost Frozen to New Investors (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – Frost, the hedge fund launched by former employees at the now-closed Nektar at the beginning of January, has been closed to new investors after reaching its optimal level of assets under management. The relative value fund focused on Scandinavian fixed income markets reached SEK 2.5 billion in assets under management in less than a month since its launch on January 2. Frost is managed by Martin Larsén, former deputy chief investment officer at Nektar, and Anders Augusén, a portfolio manager at Nektar for over ten years. Launched in 1998, Nektar was Sweden’s oldest hedge fund and one of the oldest hedge funds in the Nordics. The fund was closed last year after “a prolonged challenging market environment for the fund.”

Elliott Push at SoftBank Reflects Rise of Shareholder Activism in Japan (The Wall Street Journal)
TOKYO – It wasn’t too long ago that Japan would have shunned an aggressive foreign investor with ideas on how to shake up a Japanese corporate giant. But Elliott Management Corp.’s push for change at Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. is likely to benefit from shifts in recent years that have made investor activism in Tokyo commonplace – and often successful.

Puerto Rico Bond Prices Gain on Pact with Aurelius, Holders (Bloomberg)
Prices on some Puerto Rico general obligations increased Monday after Aurelius Capital Management and other investors agreed to a tentative plan to reduce the island’s debt by about 40%, a key hurdle in its record bankruptcy. Puerto Rico general obligations with an 8% coupon traded at an average 74.3 cents on the dollar as of 9:45 a.m. New York time, up from 69.6 cents on Feb. 4, the day before speculation grew that the parties would sign a pact, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The potential debt restructuring plan offers holders of those bonds 65.4 cents through a debt exchange and a cash payment.

Markets to Stay Volatile, as Coronavirus Fears Dampen EM Growth, Says Bluebay (Hedge Week)
Fears over the coronavirus outbreak will drive volatility in global markets for some time, according to BlueBay Asset Management, which suggested re-orientating portfolios away from cyclicals and towards duration and carry. Emerging markets has seen a particular squeeze over the past week, with EM equity down some 5 per cent at one point as the S&P dipped 2 per cent, BlueBay observed in a research note.

Ken Griffin: Nobody Cares About Inflation, but They Should (AI-CIO.com)
If there’s one threat that practically no one sees nowadays, it’s inflation. But hedge fund operator Ken Griffin is the exception. What’s more, he’s worried that nobody else seems to be gearing up for the possibility of an inflationary up-trend. “If there were inflation, the markets are utterly and completely unprepared for that,” Griffin said at an Economic Club of New York lunch. The founder of hedge fund giant Citadel ($30 billion in assets), Griffin has been fretting over inflation as a potential threat for some time.