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Hedge Fund News: John Kleinheinz, Philip Falcone, Telus Corporation

For Argentina holdout fund, a decade’s pursuit may pay off (Reuters)
Investing in distressed debt isn’t supposed to be a smooth ride. Until earlier this week, U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management had seemed close to victory in its near decade-long legal battle with Argentina over the country’s defaulted debt. Then, the latest courtroom twist on Wednesday pushed the case into 2013, giving Argentina precious breathing space to rethink its strategy. Elliott – founded by publicity-shy billionaire Paul Singer – remains confident its strategy of blocking Argentina’s every escape route with lawsuit after lawsuit will pay off. “The momentum slowed but it doesn’t change the court’s ruling in Elliott’s favor,” said a source close to the fund who requested anonymity.

Quant fund launches at record high (FT)
Trend-following quantitative “black-box” hedge funds are accounting for their highest-ever proportion of hedge fund start-ups, despite weak returns since the financial crisis. A record 187 quant, or algorithmic funds, launched last year and account for 12 per cent of all hedge fund start-ups, another record, according to Preqin, a data provider whose figures go back to 2000. Preqin said it expected this year’s tally to be higher still; launches in the first quarter of 2012 were up 40 per cent from last year and it has recorded 95 quant fund start-ups in total so far this year, even though its data typically lags by six to nine months.

Hedge fund action halves foreign ownership in Telus (Canada)
TELUS Corporation (NYSE:TU) said Friday that its level of foreign ownership has been halved, largely due to the U.S. hedge fund it has been battling for months selling off its stake in the telecom company. Telus said its non-Canadian ownership is roughly 15 per cent as of Nov. 16, down from almost 33 per cent last summer. Large Canadian telecom companies can’t have foreign ownership levels that exceed 33.3 per cent. Telus has been embroiled in a fight with New York-based Mason Capital Management over its plan to convert the telecom company’s non-voting shares into voting shares on a one-for-one basis without a special premium. Mason had owned almost 20 per cent of Telus.

Energy Hedge Fund Springs From Bank Alumni (ELP)
Three natural gas and power traders who had worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) and Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) have teamed up to start a fund trading in gas and power markets starting in January. Stamford, Conn.-based Cogent Energy Investment Management LLC has three principals: Fletcher Sturm, Robert Benson and Frank Ermis – all Enron alumni, according to a report in the online publication SparkSpread.com. Mr. Sturm is listed as a principal in the fund, according to documents filed with the Connecticut Secretary of State, and had previously worked at Barclays trading gas.

Sprightly Young Hedge Funds: Older Isn’t Always Wiser (Barrons)
Investors are more impressed by a hedge fund’s size and age than its returns, judging by a recent study. Researchers at PerTrac first compared cumulative returns of funds with less than $100 million in assets and those running $500 million or more from 1996 and 2011. The smaller funds had a cumulative return of 558% in that time, versus 307% for the bigger ones. Despite the disparity, investors continue to throw money at bigger funds: Just 7.5% of hedge-fund managers controlled nearly three-quarters of the estimated $1.9 trillion in industry assets as of June.

Georgian President adopted the founder of Soros Foundation (Trend)
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili adopted on Sunday the founder of network of charitable organizations Soros Foundation, world-famous financier and philanthropist George Soros in House of Justice in Tbilisi. Soros acquainted with Georgian know-how and has expressed interest in this innovation. During his visit to Georgia on Saturday Soros met with Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Investment whiz Rogers on Geo Energy’s board (BusinessTimes)
GEO Energy Resources appointed commodities-investment guru Jim Rogers as a non-executive director with effect from Monday. Mr Rogers, who has resided in Singapore since mid-2007, made his name as the research head of Quantum Fund, which he co-founded with George Soros in the 1970s. He also designed the Rogers International Commodity Index, a broad composite of commodity futures.

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