Hedge Fund News: Ray Dalio, The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX), Apple Inc (AAPL)

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), BP plc (NYSE:BP), TransCanada Corporation (NYSE:TRP), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS)

BRIDGEWATER ASSOCIATESBlackstone boss backs $300 million Chinese university fund (BayouBuzz)
The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) founder Stephen Schwarzman will personally donate $100 million to a scholarship fund at China ‘s Tsinghua University as part of the largest internationally funded philanthropic project in the country’s history. Schwarzman has already raised another $100 million from a group of mostly Western donors including BP plc (NYSE:BP), The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and hedge fund magnate Ray Dalio. He’s working to raise a further $100 million to fill out the program’s planned $300 million endowment. “The goal is to build the most prestigious and well-funded international scholarship program in the most populous country in the world,” Schwarzman said. Classes of 200 students recruited from the United States, China and other countries will study a specially designed curriculum in a one-year master’s program.

Apple’s dimming luster roils suppliers, investors (Reuters)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) marketing chief Phil Schiller let slip during last August’s courtroom battle with Samsung that when setting forecasts for new iPhones, the inside joke was that people should assume sales would equal all previous versions combined. That quip, uttered in front of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s trial lawyers and the media, no longer rings true as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) appears to be losing a once vice-like grip on its supply chain and Wall Street. Suppliers and investors are struggling to gauge demand for the iconic smartphone as Samsung and up-and-coming rivals grab market share. Indications of reduced shipments now send shares in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its component-makers into a tailspin. And criticism that innovation has stalled after the death of its legendary co-founder Steve Jobs 18 months ago is hurting sentiment in a stock that closed the week below $400 for the first time since December 2011.

Hedge Fund Manager “Earns” $1 Million an Hour (AllGov)
Last year, even as 15 million Americans continued to look for work and the average wage barely kept up with the cost of living, the 25 best paid hedge fund managers raked in a total of $14.14 billion, an average of $565.6 million per year, according to an analysis published last week by Institutional Investor Alpha. The top ten took home $10.1 billion, and top manager David Tepper—who did not even make the top 25 last year—made off with $2.2 billion, equivalent to $1,057,692 an hour, as much as the average American family makes in 21 years. As the report points out, the 2012 numbers were actually the lowest since 2008, when hedge fund managers lost money because of the financial crisis they largely caused. In 2011, the top 25 made $14.4 billion.

Hedge-Fund Billionaire Leads Donors in Pushing Obama on Keystone (BusinessWeek)
President Barack Obama faces growing pressure from Democratic donors to reject the Keystone XL pipeline amid signs that the project is headed for approval. Donors and party activists are seeking to influence Obama through personal pleas and by pumping money into elections. Their goal: to demonstrate that turning down TransCanada Corporation (NYSE:TRP)’s petition to build the $5.3 billion pipeline to carry tar-sands oil from Canada to U.S. refineries can be a political winner. “The way we can make a difference on this is to show that there’s public support for our position,” said Tom Steyer, the founder of hedge fund Farallon Capital Management LLC and a Keystone foe who has pledged to spend millions on elections such as this month’s Democratic Senate primary in Massachusetts.

Hedge fund AUM up by USD122bn in Q1 (Hedgeweek)
Total capital invested in the global hedge fund industry expanded during the first quarter at the fastest rate since 2010 as global financial institutions positioned for both growth and volatility across fixed income, equities, currencies and commodities. Total assets under management increased by USD122bn, the largest increase since Q4 2010, bringing industry capital to a record USD2.375trn, according to the latest HFR Global Hedge Fund Industry Report. Investors allocated USD15.2bn of net new capital to hedge funds in Q1 2013, marking the highest inflow since 1Q12. Hedge funds have experienced capital inflows in 14 of the 15 quarters.

China, India will boost gold: Analyst (VancouverSun)
John Paulson, the hedge-fund manager who’s lost money this year after a 16 per cent decline in gold, told clients that purchases by central banks and demand in Asia will support the metal in the near term. “We believe that ongoing central bank purchases and strong gold demand from China and India will help support the gold price in the near-term,” Paulson & Co. said in a letter to clients that was obtained by Bloomberg News. Gold plunged 13 per cent in two sessions through April 15, the biggest slump since 1980.

Hedge funds increased net bet on higher gold prices during last week’s selloff (Opalesque)
Hedge funds are piling up on gold despite the drop in prices, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed, BusinessWeek reported. Indeed, gold prices plunged the most in 33 years last week. Data from the CFTC showed that hedge fund managers and other speculators had raised their gold net long positions by 9.8% to 61,579 futures and options in the week ended April 16. “Money managers cut the number of bets on lower gold prices by 8.2% during the week ended Tuesday, and left their amount of bets on higher prices nearly unchanged,” confirmed Dow Jones. The move to raise wagers on gold gives speculations that hedge fund manager John Paulson is on his way to recover the money he lost on his gold bets.

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