Buffett Warning Unheeded as Catastrophe Bond Sales Climb (Bloomberg)
Bond buyers are betting more than ever on the mercy of Mother Nature as they seek to boost yields being suppressed by central banks. Demand for notes linked to insurance against hurricanes and other natural disasters is prompting investors to accept the lowest relative yields in almost a decade for this time of the year, when the Atlantic storm season gets underway. Buyers are speculating that the $22 billion market can continue its streak without an annual loss even as Warren Buffett said last week that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B) is avoiding writing hurricane insurance in Florida because premiums have been pushed too low.
Carl Icahn Buys Into Family Dollar (Wall Street Journal)
Investor Carl Icahn has probably purchased only one thing at Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO): its stock. Unfortunately, he’s overlooking many other values at the Matthews, N.C.-based discount retailer. For $3.75, he could buy himself a can of Raid. For just $1, there’s Bazooka bubble gum. For $25, there’s the blowup Tropical Sun Pirate Pool. Mr. Icahn may not feel that he belongs in the pirate pool. He’s not a raider. He’s an activist shareholder. How about a box of Cap’n Crunch for $3? Cap’n Crunch isn’t a pirate, either. He sugarcoats it, too.
Hedge fund Pine River soft closes multi-strategy fund (Opalesque)
Minnesota-based Pine River Capital Management, the $15bn hedge fund firm founded by Brian Taylor, is soft closes its $4.5vn multi-strategy Pine River Fund as it shuns new money because of “challenging environment” for the industry. In a report, the Financial Times said Pine River joins an expanding list of hedge funds that are returning money to investors or closing their funds to new money.
Boston’s AMG near deal to buy D.E. Shaw-stake (MarketWatch)
A Boston investment firm is nearing a deal to buy a stake in hedge-fund giant D.E. Shaw Group for more than $500 million from the estate of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter. Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE:AMG) has bid for the 20% stake in a deal that would value D.E. Shaw at more than $2 billion. An agreement in principle has been reached but a final deal isn’t imminent and could still fall apart, according to people familiar with the matter.
Cohen, Aarons Descend on Art World’s Davos as Fair Opens (Bloomberg)
Steven A. Cohen and Philip Aarons were among Wall Street investors, billionaire collectors and art advisers with VIP access to the world’s largest modern and contemporary-art fair in Switzerland. The stampede began yesterday at Art Basel, when a section of the fair populated with oversized sculptures and sprawling installations opened to “first-choice” VIPs. Hundreds of people mingled on the plaza outside the exhibition hall drinking champagne. The tiered opening continues today and tomorrow, and the show opens to the general public on June 19.
Argentina’s debt battle (CNBC.com)