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Hedge Fund News: Bill Ackman to Sell Some Canadian Pacific Stock, Carl Icahn & Boris Pilichowski

Bitcoin endorsed by top hedge fund manager (Financial Times)
Financial advisers who gathered in New York to hear leaders of the asset management industry impart their best investment ideas for the year ahead were given a surprising tip by one prominent hedge fund manager: Bitcoin. Michael Novogratz, co-chief investment officer of macro funds at the $55bn Fortress Investment Group, used a panel discussion on the prospects for emerging markets to trumpet the much-hyped digital currency, which he said could be used as a cheaper way of transferring money in countries with weak banking systems. Even if that did not come to pass, he said, there could be money to be made from a Bitcoin bubble along the way.

Ackman to Sell Part of His Stake in Canadian Pacific (New York Times)
More than a year after the activist investor William A. Ackman won a bitter battle for control of the Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (USA) (NYSE:CP), he is cashing in part of his investment at a substantial profit. On Thursday, Mr. Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management said it would sell around $800 million of its stake in Canadian Pacific, or 5.9 million shares, in an open market transaction at an undisclosed price per share. Following the sale, Pershing Square will hold a 9.8 percent stake in the company and will remain Canadian Pacific’s largest shareholder.

Bill Ackman in crowd

Is Icahn’s Case for Apple at $1,250 Flawed? (Insider Monkey)
Carl Icahn thinks Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock could soar to $1,250 in the next three years, giving investors who own Apple at $525 a 33.5% annualized return. He laid out the scenario in his open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, made public this morning. As he has previously suggested, it would take a $150 billion buyback. This prompts two questions: 1. Is the proposed buyback realistic? 2. If the buyback were executed, could shares really appreciate to $1,250 in three years?

Hedge Funds Moot Argentine Debt Deal (FINalternatives)
Hedge funds hoping to head off another Argentine debt default have proposed to pay their peers holding out from the last default. The hedge funds in question, including Brevan Howard Asset Management and Gramercy Funds Management, hold restructured Argentine debt. In debt exchanges in 2005 and 2010, the overwhelming majority of Argentine bondholders accepted huge losses in exchange for new bonds—but U.S. court rulings have thrown into question whether Argentina can continue to pay its obligations on those bonds while refusing to pay the holdouts, led by Aurelius Capital Management and Elliott Management.

Few advisers recommend alternative investments (InvestmentNews)
Financial advisers shy away from alternative investment products because most are too difficult to explain to clients, a new study shows. Only a quarter of advisers invest regularly in hedge funds, private equity and commodities, according to a study released Thursday by Natixis Global Asset Management. Although the majority of the 1,300 advisers surveyed as part of the study have invested over time in a mix of alternatives, just 25% use them on a regular basis. Those who typically use alternative investments are those who work with high-net worth investors.

Mick McGuire, Marcato Reiterate 6.7% Stake in Sotheby’s, Issues Presentation (Insider Monkey)
In a new filing with the SEC, Marcato Capital Management, a hedge fund managed by Richard McGuire, disclosed its presentation during the “Excellence in Investing: San Francisco” conference held yesterday. In the presentation, Marcato presented its case on Sothebys (NYSE:BID), and expressed its ideas regarding the company’s value. The key points Marcato made were that Sotheby’s owned real estate and financing operations are strengths that investors may be overlooking. Marcato holds around 4.6 million shares of Sotheby’s, which represent about 6.7% of the company.

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