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Hedge Fund News: Jim Chanos, Paul Singer & Esl Investments

Hedge fund manager Chanos says betting against Petrobras at conference (Reuters)
Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos on Monday said he is betting against Brazil’s national oil company Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (ADR) (NYSE:PBR), saying it “exists to serve the state.” Chanos, who first cemented his reputation as a short seller with bets against Enron, said he is shorting the company’s debt and equity. Speaking at the Robin Hood Investors Conference, Chanos, head of Kynikos Associates, said the West is finished paying the shortfall tab for a corrupt government entity, according to two sources who were attending the event in New York City.

Jim Chanos puppeteer

Scopia Capital Strikes Deal With Guar Farmers (Finalternatives)
A group of Texas and Oklahoma guar farmers has struck a deal to settle a dispute with a New York hedge fund. The dispute involves about 285 farmers who had shipped more than $20 million worth of guar beans (used in hydraulic fracturing) to a now-bankrupt processing plant near Lubbock, Texas owned by Scopia Capital Management. Earlier this year, the farmers filed five countersuits against Scopia alleging that the hedge fund and West Texas Guar conspired to not pay them for their crop last year.

Sears turns to Lampert again for cash before holiday season (Reuters)
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) plans to raise up to $625 million through an offering of 8 percent senior notes and warrants, in another effort to boost liquidity amid concerns among suppliers about its finances going into the holiday season. Sears shares rose about 7.5 percent in early trading. …The company has announced plans to raise a total of just over $2 billion this year, double the target it set in March. Most of this will come from Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc, which together own 48.5 percent of Sears.

Staten Island Man Charged With Running A Fake Hedge Fund (HedgeCo)
Staten Island resident, Anthony Coronati, an investment adviser to a fictitious hedge fund that he claimed would invest in equity securities, has been charged by the SEC with conducting several fraudulent securities offerings and siphoning some of the money raised from investors for a Caribbean vacation and plastic surgery. When the money began drying up, he went on to defraud investors in additional schemes involving a New Jersey-based company Bidtoask LLC. Coronati and Bidtoask sold membership interests in the company for the purpose of investing in promising technology companies that had yet to hold initial public offerings (IPOs). However, Bidtoask did not even own the shares of other technology companies in which it was supposedly investing, and these companies were not actually in the process of an IPO.

Strippers Accused Of Robbing Hedge-Fund Manager Face Jail (Finalternatives)
A group of alleged stripper-thieves—whose victims include a hedge-fund manager—all face jail time under plea deals proffered by prosecutors. The four strippers, and a strip-club manager, who was offered a no-jail plea agreement, allegedly ripped victims off to the tune of almost $200,000. According to the indictment, the quartet would “fish” for victims at ritzy bars in New York City and on Long Island, texting the “worthy targets” to meet up later. Then, they would allegedly drug the men and take them to one of two strip clubs, Scores in Manhattan and Roadhouse NYC in Queens. Once there, the strippers allegedly took the men to private rooms where the men handed over their credit cards.

Stimulus won’t be removed ‘anytime soon’: Pro (CNBC)

TCI Abandons Coal India Investment (Finalternatives)
The Children’s Investment Fund Management has given up a more than two-year battle with the Indian government. The activist hedge fund has sold its entire stake in Coal India. TCI began exiting the investment, which once made it the largest private shareholder in the monopoly, which is nearly 90% owned by the Indian government, last April. It sold its last shares earlier this month. TCI first invested in Coal India in 2010, the year it sold shares publicly. It then began agitating for change, accusing the government of improper interference with the company and violations of treaties with the U.K. and Cyprus. In 2012, TCI sued the Indian government over those issues.

Hedge fund pressures Family Dollar on Dollar General bid (BizJournals)
A hedge fund led by billionaire Paul Singer is pressuring North Carolina-based Family Dollar to consider a $9.1 billion takeover bid from Goodlettsville-based Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG). Singer’s fund, Elliott Management, announced Friday that it had put forth seven candidates for Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO)‘s board, The New York Times reports. Elliott Management claims to own 4.9 percent of Family Dollar. In a letter to Family Dollar’s board, Mark Levine, a senior portfolio manager at Elliott, wrote, ” Unfortunately, the actions of the board to date in connection with the strategic review process fail to sufficiently demonstrate that the board has had the best interests of its shareholders in mind.”

Billionaire hedge fund managers back whiz kids’ charity (TheStar)
When it came to figuring out how to get some of North America’s biggest billionaire hedge fund managers to support their unusual fundraiser for The Hospital for Sick Children, two Bay Street whiz kids discovered the best bet was simply picking up the phone. “We’d had a number of failed initiatives,” says Jeff Gallant, the 25-year-old co-founder of Capitalize for Kids, a charity that aims to raise $1 million for The Hospital for Sick Children through a two-day investment conference. In the end, make a phone call, asking for the executive assistant and delivering their “elevator pitch” got the ball rolling, Gallant said during a late Friday afternoon interview in the boardroom at Alignvest Capital Management, where he works as an analyst. Once one of the investment gurus agreed to participate, the rest followed suit.

Pension funds eye reducing hedge fund investments (eFinancialNews)
In San Francisco, the chairman of that city’s pension fund has put on hold a vote to invest 15% of its assets in hedge funds. In Austin, Texas, officers responsible for the retirement savings of city police officers are discussing whether to withdraw all of their hedge fund investments. In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a prominent state official asked the systems that manage money for teachers and other public workers to reconsider the $7.6 billion parked in such investments. “We need to be talking about this,” Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said in an interview.

Hedge fund exit requests drop to nine-month low in Oct (Reuters)
Investor requests to pull money out from hedge funds dropped to a nine-month low in October, new data released on Monday showed. The SS&C GlobeOp Forward Redemption Indicator, a snapshot of hedge fund clients giving notice to withdraw cash expressed as a percentage of assets under administration, fell to 3.12 percent in October from 3.25 percent in September. “October’s forward redemptions decreased slightly from September, but remain in line with historical averages,” said Bill Stone, chairman and chief executive of SS&C Technologies.

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