Exclusive: Citadel Turns 2020 Profit After Spotting Virus Risk Early (Reuters)
BOSTON (Reuters) – Citadel, the Chicago-based hedge fund giant led by billionaire Ken Griffin, has so far weathered the coronavirus market storm well, turning a slight profit in its flagship Wellington hedge fund for the year through Monday, according to a person familiar with the situation. The fund, which practices a so-called multi-strategy array of bets on stocks, bonds, commodities and other securities using teams of traders, was as of Friday down 5.25% for March, the person said, who requested anonymity because the information is private. The exact year-to-date gain, which is net of fees, was not finalized.
Trump, Pence Held Call on Economy with Investors Including Paul Tudor Jones, Stephen Schwarzman (CNBC)
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a call to discuss the coronavirus impact on the economy, according to sources. Investors on the call included Third Point’s Dan Loeb, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Vista Equity’s Robert Smith, Intercontinental Exchange’s Jeffrey Sprecher and Paul Tudor Jones, hedge fund manager and co-founder of JUST Capital.
Marwan Younes’ Fund has Returned 14% This Year as Coronavirus has Upended Markets. He Explains How a Childhood Spent Surviving the Lebanese Civil War Prepared Him for the Unprecedented Turmoil (Business Insider)
Massar Capital, a $233 million hedge fund founded by Marwan Younes, finished Monday up more than 14% for the year. Massar makes global commodities and macro bets, according to its website. Younes said the firm has been able to thrive in the chaotic markets caused by the novel coronavirus because of his background: He grew up in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war of the 1980s. “This background naturally shapes one’s outlook to be highly defensive, based first on maximizing the odds of survivability, instead of the natural impulse to maximize profits,” Younes wrote in a message to investors on Tuesday.
Scaramucci Cancels Hedge Fund Conference Set for May (Pensions&Investments)
Anthony Scaramucci canceled this year’s SALT hedge fund conference in Las Vegas because of public health concerns. There are no plans to reschedule. “The well-being of the SALT community is our first priority, and after consulting with numerous experts, we determined cancellation is the best course of action,” spokeswoman Jami Schlicher said in a statement Monday. The event, in its 11th year, was to be held May 19-21. The Skybridge Alternatives Conference is the latest industry event to be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this month, the organizers of the New York Sohn Investment Conference, where hedge fund giants pitch new trade ideas, canceled their May event. The Milken Institute Global Conference, also set for May, has been postponed until July.
Renaissance Equity Hedge Fund Down 24% This Year on March Slide (Bloomberg)
(Bloomberg) — Renaissance Technologies’ quantitative equity hedge fund is down 24% so far this year after posting a steep loss in the first three weeks of the month. The Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund, which only trades U.S.-listed stocks that its computer models expect to rise, posted a decline of about 18% this month through March 20, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg. Still, the fund is outpacing the broader market, as the S&P 500 Index dropped 22% this month through Friday and is down 28% this year. The losses come as hedge funds including Bridgewater Associates have been hit in a global sell-off fueled by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Hedge-Fund Trades Going Haywire (The Wall Street Journal)
When everyone runs for the exit at the same time, the stampede can be brutal. The recent market rout has turned some seemingly low-risk trades into hazardous traps. One example is so-called relative-value trades, where investors buy one security while shorting another, trying to exploit pricing anomalies. Some trades are based on statistical analysis, while others rely on fundamental linkages between two instruments, such as futures and their underlying asset. These strategies are usually seen as market neutral – they can make…
Algebris PM Gallo Says Markets are Now “Ripe with Opportunities” (Hedge Week)
Algebris Investments, Davide Serra’s multi-asset class hedge fund firm, says markets are “ripe with opportunities”, and is now preparing to deploy its “dry powder” liquidity in a range of asset classes it sees as benefiting from future fiscal stimulus and persistent low interest rates. Alberto Gallo, portfolio manager of the firm’s macro credit-focused Algebris Macro Credit fund, believes current dislocations offer value for investors taking a long-term view. “Even though the virus spread may lead to a recession, price discounts across most asset classes provide a large cushion for negative scenarios,” Gallo said, adding markets “are now ripe with opportunities.”
SEC Enforcement Chiefs Warn Against Insider Trading (Think Advisor)
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement chiefs warned Tuesday that they’re on the lookout for an increase in insider trading due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the exam department said it would move to off-site exams. “We wish to emphasize the importance of maintaining market integrity and following corporate controls and procedures,” co-chiefs Stephanie Avakian and Steve Peikin said in a joint statement. “In these dynamic circumstances, corporate insiders are regularly learning new material nonpublic information that may hold an even greater value than under normal circumstances. This may particularly be the case if earnings reports or required SEC disclosure filings are delayed due to COVID-19.”
Tuesday 3/24 Insider Buying Report: HALO, AFL (Nasdaq.com)
On Thursday, Halozyme Therapeutics’ Director, Kenneth J. Kelley, made a $748,697 purchase of HALO, buying 52,629 shares at a cost of $14.23 a piece. Kelley was up about 25.5% on the buy at the high point of today’s trading session, with HALO trading as high as $17.86 in trading on Tuesday. Halozyme Therapeutics is trading off about 4.7% on the day Tuesday. And at AFLAC, there was insider buying on Monday, by COO Frederick John Crawford who purchased 25,000 shares at a cost of $26.29 each, for a trade totaling $657,340. AFLAC Inc is trading up about 10.8% on the day Tuesday. Crawford was up about 10.0% on the buy at the high point of today’s trading session, with AFL trading as high as $28.93 in trading on Tuesday.
The Senior Chairman & CEO of Prosperity Bancshares (NYSE: PB) is Buying Shares (Analyst Ratings)
Today, the Senior Chairman & CEO of Prosperity Bancshares (PB), David Zalman, bought shares of PB for $650K. In addition to David Zalman, 9 other PB executives reported Buy trades in the last month. This recent transaction increases David Zalman’s holding in the company by 1.93% to a total of $34.27 million.
SEC Urges Insider Trading Vigilance (Seeking Alpha)
The SEC has issued a sharp warning against trading on nonpublic information related to COVID-19 following stock sales that have sparked widespread criticism and calls for investigations. NYSE (NYSE:ICE) Chairman Jeff Sprecher and his wife Sen. Kelly Loeffler sold up to $3M worth of securities in the weeks before stock market indexes plunged due to the coronavirus pandemic, and on the heels of a private, all-senators briefing on the virus outbreak on Jan. 24. Sales by senators Richard Burr, James Inhoffe and Diane Feinstein have also come under scrutiny.