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Hedge Fund and Insider Trading News: Ray Dalio, Ken Griffin, Nut Tree Capital Management, Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (CFR), Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL), and More

Hedge Fund Giant Ken Griffin Highlights the 4 Key Qualities a Company Needs for a Successful Direct Listing (Business Insider)
Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin expects direct listings to grow even more popular in 2020, but noted that not all firms are meant for the unconventional approach to public markets. Companies eyeing direct listings need “a well-established brand,” a large shareholder base, a profitable or nearly profitable business model, and no need for new capital, Griffin said at the Economic Club of New York. The Citadel founder expects “a handful of direct listings from some of the very big, successful tech startups” in the near future, but also sees the traditional IPO market still retaining the “significant majority” of public debuts.

Five Hedge Fund Heads Made More Than $1 Billion Each Last Year (Bloomberg)
Twelve billion dollars. It’s more than JPMorgan Chase & Co. paid all 56,000 of its investment bank employees, and almost twice as much as gamblers lost in Las Vegas last year. It’s also what 15 hedge fund managers collectively earned in 2019. Five of them – Chris Hohn, Jim Simons, Ken Griffin, Steve Cohen and Chase Coleman – reaped more than $1 billion each, according to estimates by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Insider Trading Wall Street Trader Panic

Luis Louro / shutterstock.com

Ray Dalio Thinks the Coronavirus’ Hit to Global Markets is Probably Exaggerated (CNBC)
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Billionaire hedge fund giant Ray Dalio thinks the roller-coaster impact of the new coronavirus on markets is likely exaggerated. The fast-spreading virus, which has so far killed 1,018 people and sickened more than 43,000 across 28 countries, “probably had a bit of an exaggerated effect on the pricing of assets,” he told attendees of the 2020 annual Milken Conference in Abu Dhabi Tuesday. “Because of the temporary nature of that, I would expect more of a rebound. It most likely will be something that in another year or two will be well beyond what everyone will be talking about.”

Hedge Fund Managers Record Modest Returns as Concerns Surrounding the Coronavirus Outbreak Escalate (Opalesque.com)
Opalesque Industry Update – The Eurekahedge Hedge Fund Index gained 0.17% in January, outperforming the underlying equity market as represented by the MSCI ACWI (Local), which lost 0.90% over the same period. Equity markets started the month on a positive note, supported by the de-escalation of the tension in the Middle East, and the signing of the US-China phase-one trade deal. The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy NASDAQ returned 1.97% and 2.29% respectively for the week ending January 17. However, market sentiment shifted quickly towards the end of the month, following the coronavirus outbreak in China. Investors feared that the epidemic, which draws parallel to the SARS outbreak in 2003 might significantly weigh on the global economic outlook. The Shenzhen and Shanghai benchmarks were down 8.45% and 7.72% on February 3, after the onshore markets reopened following the Chinese New Year holiday.

Passive Route to Hedge Funds (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – In mid-February of 2019, Aberdeen Standard Investments launched the ASI HFRI-I Liquid Alternatives Ucits Fund, a vehicle that aims to provide investors with a lower-cost way of getting access to a well-diversified hedge fund portfolio. The passive hedge fund strategy invests in the nearly 200 hedge funds that are part of the HFRI-I Liquid Alternative Ucits Index designed by Hedge Fund Research. ASI HFRI-I Liquid Alternatives Ucits Fund, which was seeded with $150 million from institutional investors in February last year, raised $527 million in assets since its launch through December, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Baltimore Fire & Police Targets $48 million for Hedge Funds (Pionline.com)
Baltimore Fire & Police Employees’ Retirement System made two new direct hedge fund investments totaling $48 million. The $2.9 billion pension fund invested $30 million in KKR Global Credit Opportunities Fund, long-only fund that invests in corporate and structured credit, managed by KKR & Co., and $18 million in Nut Tree Master Fund, an event-driven fund focused on distressed, stressed and value-oriented situations managed by Nut Tree Capital Management, said Amy E. Baskerville, spokeswoman, in an email.

Hedge Funds Down 0.18% in January, According to Backstop BarclayHedge (PRWeb.com)
The hedge fund industry had a downbeat start to the new year losing 0.18% in January, according to the Barclay Hedge Fund Index compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. By comparison, the S&P 500 Total Return Index was more or less break-even with a 0.04% loss in January. Mixed economic indicators worldwide joined with global events during the month to stunt returns for many hedge fund sectors, resulting in a reversal from December’s 1.73% industry-wide return. “January was a challenging month for investors, marked as it was by the impact of U.S.-Iran tensions at the start of the month and the beginning of the spread of the coronavirus later in January,” said Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge. “Those events offset the potential market benefits of a U.S.-China phase one trade deal and U.S. stocks hitting record highs mid-month.”

Paul Singer’s NY Based Hedge Fund Considers Possible Stake in SoftBank (TheJewishVoice.com)
Insiders are saying that Paul Singer’s New York City hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has collected a stake in SoftBank Group Corp. of close to $3 billion. Singer, so the rumors go, sees SoftBank as highly undervalued, and is envisioning engineering a buyback of shares to the tune of $20 billion. One way the company could do that would be by shaving investments in Alibaba Group Holding Inc. and Sprint Corp.

January’s Leaders Amid Dispersion (Hedge Nordic)
Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – After returning 6.4 percent on average last year, Nordic equity hedge funds gained 0.3 percent in January (92 percent reported). There was noticeable dispersion of returns across funds, as the top 20 percent returned 4.1 percent on average while the bottom 20 percent lost 3.9 percent. Global equity markets, as measured by the FTSE World Index, rose by 0.3 percent in Euro terms last month. Nordic equities, as expressed by the VINX All-Share Index, returned a negative 0.1 percent in Euro terms. The index includes all firms listed on Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchanges and Oslo Börs. Eurozone equities were down 1.7 percent, whereas North American stocks gained 1.7 percent in Euro terms.

Whistle-Blowers Report Their Florida Hedge Fund To SEC And NBC (FA-Mag.com)
Employees of TCA Fund Management Group girded their whistle-blower report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission by going to the media with accusations that the Florida-based firm has inflated both its earnings and assets for years. According to the whistle-blowers, the TCA Fund Management Group, which conducts its American operations out of its Aventura, Fla., headquarters, has $300 million in assets, not $500 million, and is earning 1.92% a year, not 7% to 8% as the company claimed in investor communications. The firm has inflated its main hedge fund’s assets and returns since 2017, according to three employees who filed the whistle-blower complaint with the SEC and also leaked the story to NBC News.

Insider Trading: February 10, 2020 (BIV.com)
Insider Ian Baskerville, Director. Company: Canwel Building Materials Group Ltd. (TSX:CWX). Shares owned: 29,800. Trade date: January 31. Trade total: $267,120. Trade: Acquisition of 50,400 shares at a price of $5.30 per share. Insider Margaret Reese Walker, Director. Company: Methanex Corp. (TSX:MX). Shares owned: 9,500. Trade date: January 31. Trade total: $259,920. Trade: Acquisition of 8,000 shares at a price of $32.49 per share.

Tuesday 2/11 Insider Buying Report: CFR, ADMA (Nasdaq.com)
As the saying goes, there are many possible reasons for an insider to sell a stock, but only one reason to buy — they expect to make money. So let’s look at two noteworthy recent insider buys. On Thursday, Cullen/Frost Bankers’ Director, Chris Avery, made a $858,115 purchase of CFR, buying 9,500 shares at a cost of $90.33 each. So far Avery is in the green, up about 3.8% on their purchase based on today’s trading high of $93.78. Cullen/Frost Bankers is trading up about 1% on the day Tuesday. And at ADMA Biologics, there was insider buying on Tuesday, by Director Jerrold B. Grossman who bought 45,714 shares at a cost of $3.50 each, for a trade totaling $159,999.

Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) President and CEO Daniel H Schulman Sold $3 million of Shares (Guru Focus)
President and CEO of Paypal Holdings Inc., Daniel H Schulman, sold 25,000 shares of PYPL on 02/07/2020 at an average price of $119.01 a share. The total sale was $3 million. PayPal Holdings Inc is a technology platform company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of consumers and merchants. The company’s payments platform includes PayPal, PayPal Credit, Venmo, Xoom and Braintree products.

A Director at Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS) is Selling Shares (Analyst Ratings)
Yesterday, a Director at Progress Software (PRGS), Charles Francis Kane, sold shares of PRGS for $336.8K. In addition to Charles Francis Kane, 2 other PRGS executives reported Sell trades in the last month. Based on Progress Software’s latest earnings report for the quarter ending November 30, the company posted quarterly revenue of $117 million and GAAP net loss of $4.74 million.

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