Hedge Fund News: Whitney Tilson, Julian Robertson, Apple Inc (AAPL)

T2 PARTNERSWhitney Tilson To Investors: Bet You $25,000 Obama Wins Tomorrow (Forbes)
With election day just hours away hedge fund titan Whitney Tilson is putting his money where his mouth is and betting $25,000 that President Obama is re-elected tomorrow. The founder of T2 Partners and Chairman of the Value Investing Congress sent out an e-mail this morning to 2,000 friends betting them up to $25,000 that Barack Obama will win tomorrow’s presidential election. If Tilson is right, the money wagered by his opponents will be put toward his favorite charity, KIPP charter schools in New York City.

Tiger Management L.L.C. Announces Strategic Partnership with Tiger Pacific Capital LP, a New Asian-Focused Manager (EON)
Tiger Management L.L.C. (“Tiger”) has announced a strategic partnership to focus on investing in Asian equities. Tiger Pacific Capital LP (“TPC”) is a new investment company, whose founding partners are Run Ye, Junji Takegami and Hoyon Hwang. The individuals are experienced investors who were formerly senior members of Tiger Asia Management, L.L.C., a long/short Asian hedge fund manager. Tiger Management L.L.C. and its principal owner, Julian H. Robertson, Jr., will serve as TPC’s seed investor. Julian H. Robertson, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tiger, said, “Asia is the best area of the world to practice the hedge fund business. There are great companies at the initial phase of their growth and, on the other side, companies with huge over-valuations or even possible frauds. We are fortunate indeed to have a team of the caliber of Run, Junji and Hoyon to maximize the opportunity.”

Allocators enjoy the ‘low risk-taking world’ of hedge funds (InvestmentEurope)
Low net positions and the popularity of relative-value strategies suggest that hedge managers are reining in their risk. Go to the cinema these days and you will see hedge fund managers being portrayed as high-flying risk-takers, in films such as Arbitrage and Cosmopolis. Then turn instead to the choppy and politically-driven financial markets, and you will find the reality in regards to risk-taking is quite different.

iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund(ETF) (NYSEARCA:EWY) Upgraded (LiveTradingNews)
Economist and Hedge Fund Manager Shayne Heffernan of www.livetradingnews.com has upgraded iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund(ETF) (NYSEARCA:EWY) to a strong buy with a 2013 target of $68. Foreign investment banks (IBs) expect the South Korean economy to see its growth improve at a gradual pace next year, helped by global stimuli and the recovery of domestic demand, a report showed Tuesday. Morgan Stanley projected the monetary easing by the United States and China will improve global economic conditions, benefiting South Korea’s exports, a main driver of the country’s growth, according to a report by the Korea Center for International Finance.

Why is Rajat Gupta less equal than others (Rediff)
On July 21, 2008, Hank Paulson, the then US treasury secretary, met around 15 major hedge fund managers at the offices of Eton Park in New York — itself one of the biggest hedge funds in the world. At least five of the 15 who attended were ex-Goldman Sachs, the firm that was headed by Paulson before he became the treasury secretary. That very morning, Paulson had spoken to The New York Times reporters and editors and had assured them that the government was looking into the book of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and that this would calm the markets that had been fearing an imminent bankruptcy of these firms.

AIMA launches AIFMD Implementation Project (Opalesque)
The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), the global hedge fund association, has announced its AIFMD Implementation Project ahead of the release of the final implementation text of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) by the European Commission. AIMA’s AIFMD Implementation Project will aim to provide guidance to the industry on complying with the Directive, create a forum for discussion within the industry on the practicability of the new requirements, and generate feedback on practical implementation issues that will be passed to policymakers.

Eze Castle Integration Ranked Top Cloud Computing Service Provider by Hedge Funds Review (PRWeb)
Eze Castle Integration, a leading provider of strategic IT solutions and private cloud services to hedge funds, today announced that it is ranked as the top cloud computing service provider in Hedge Funds Review Service Provider Rankings 2012. Hedge fund professionals and investors voted for their preferred service providers and selected Eze Castle as the leader in global cloud computing technology. The Hedge Funds Review top cloud computing service provider recognition comes on the heels of Eze Castle Integration being named Best Cloud Computing & Outsourced IT Provider in the HFMWeek US Fund Services Awards. The Eze Private Cloud, which spans two continents and supports thousands of users, is the hedge fund industry gold standard for private cloud services. Beyond technology leadership, Eze Castle has published the industry’s first hedge fund cloud education website, Cloud Forum, and 2012 Cloud Adoption Trends in the Investment Management Industry survey report.

GAM’s hedge fund team reports mixed results for October (Opalesque)
GAM’s October performance update reports that October was an eventful month with continued policy uncertainty in Europe and the US, corporate earnings broadly disappointing and super-storm Sandy disrupting the US East coast and US markets. Global markets were generally weaker with commodities and equities delivering negative returns for the month. The MSCI World index was down 0.6% in US dollar terms. Hedge funds delivered mixed results in October but in aggregate closed in negative territory. The HRFX Global Hedge Fund index lost 0.5%, bringing its year-to-date performance to 2.1%. At the strategy level, event driven, global macro and relative value approaches all posted negative returns according to the HFRX strategy indices. Equity hedge managers had a positive month, helped by gross and net exposure levels well below long-term averages.

Hostile takeover of iCapital.biz? (TheStar)
Closed-end fund iCapital.biz Bhd, managed by seasoned fund manager Tan Teng Boo, has become the target of opportunistic investors who may embark on a hostile takeover of the company, insiders close to the matter confirmed. European hedge fund Laxey Partners has accumulated close to 10 million shares in iCapital.biz, representing just under a 6.9% stake. Laxey has a track record of targeting listed funds that trade below their net asset values (NAVs). It is fairly common for institutional funds that have bought stocks of closed-end funds trading at a sharp discount to their NAVs to vote for their liquidation.

Citi Earns Top Ratings for Private Equity and Hedge Fund Administration in Asia Pacific (4-Traders)
Citi was ranked as Top Rated in Asia Pacific by respondents in both the 2012 Private Equity Fund Administration survey and the 2012 Hedge Fund Administration survey conducted by Global Custodian. Among the 10 administrators rated in the sixth annual Private Equity Fund Administration survey, Citi was ranked number one in Asia Pacific and received the highest amount of Best in Class commendations for the region, earning ten awards. In addition to Citi’s success in Asia Pacific, solid results were received globally with Citi earning six Top Rated rankings – more than any other fund administrator – and 60 Best in Class awards in total. Citi was also the only provider to be Top Rated both globally and across Asia Pacific and North America. The results were based on a total of 246 authenticated responses that Global Custodian used to evaluate the perceptions of private equity firms on the quality of the services provided to them by third-party administrators.

Sovereign wealth funds leverage hedge fund IT, administration for investments (Opalesque)
Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) might be considered the ultimate in diversified investing. With an investment scope that ranges from the immediate to well into the future, SWFs make large and complex investments in order to create long-term value for their states. Historically, these funds have stayed out of the spotlight, but in recent years, their objectives, investments, and in some cases, their talent have stepped into view. Two of the larger and perhaps flashier funds are the China Investment Corp. and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. China’s SWF made news recently for taking a 10% stake in Heathrow Airport in the UK, a transaction that was widely reported. China investment Corp also maintains a stake in all four of the country’s biggest banks – Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. , Bank of China Ltd. , China Construction Bank Corp. and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. Typically, investments that meet some sort of strategic imperative of the state will be backed by these funds, making for complex portfolios. As a result, many of these funds are leveraging the same technology as hedge funds to get a handle on their portfolios, risk, and reporting.

Einhorn’s Greenlight Shorts Daily Mail, FSA Filing Shows (BusinessWeek)
David Einhorn’s $7.7 billion hedge fund Greenlight Capital Inc. disclosed a short position of 4.4 percent in the shares of Daily Mail and General Trust Plc, which publishes the U.K.’s second-biggest selling daily newspaper. Greenlight’s bearish bet on London-based Daily Mail and General Trust, disclosed today on the website of the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority, was the biggest short position revealed by any hedge fund against a U.K. company under rules that took effect last week.

Wells Fargo Seeks Fund Of Hedge Funds (Finalternatives)
Add Wells Fargo to the list of firms eyeing a foothold in the fund of hedge funds space. The bank’s asset management arm is in the market for a fund of funds firm with between $5 billion and $12 billion in assets under management, its CEO said. It joins Principal Global Investors in seeking out a fund of funds, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Franklin Templeton Advisors, which recently acquired Prisma Capital Partners and K2 Advisors, respectively. “We are keen to provide advice on alternatives allocations,” Wells Fargo Asset Management CEO Mike Niedermeyer told Financial News. “It is the thing our clients request most often.”

HF-Backed Charity Raises $8.5M for Hurricane Sandy Victims (Hedgefund)
Hedge fund titan Paul Tudor Jones’ charity has raised a significant amount following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Bloomberg reported that The Robin Hood Foundation, which helps New York City bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in the form of better education, job training, or temporary food and shelter, has received approximately $8.5 million in donations since November 2. The organization has raised over $1 billion since its inception in 1988. Hurricane Sandy left a reported 110 people dead in the U.S. and millions without power after the storm hit the East Coast last Monday.

Permian Hedge Fund, ‘Linked’ To Warren Buffet, Returns 16.2% (ValueWalk)
The principle mover of the last quarter’s economic environment was the monetary policy announced by the central banks of US and Europe. Both entities created a transient environment in which equities rallied and the stock market experienced a good turn, while currencies depreciated. Hedge funds with significant exposure in US and Western European equities performed well in some holdings and lost in others. Basswood Opportunity Fund, is an equity L/S fund of Basswood Capital Management. The total firm assets are close to $1 billion. In the September quarter the fund was up by 2.35 percent, while the YTD returns are +3.55 percent. The top long performers for the month of September were Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Greenhill & Co., Inc. (NYSE:GHL), First American Corp (NYSE: FAF), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). Citigroup takes the highest percentage of the fund’s portfolio and is expected to turn more profits in the coming period.The detractors in the long portfolio were, Dana Holding Corporation (NYSE:DAN), Anixter International Inc. (NYSE:AXE), Community National Bank (New York) (OTC:CBNY), Ensco PLC (NYSE:ESV), Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK).

Harbinger-Controlled Company Acquires Oil Company (HedgeFund)
Harbinger Group has agreed to buy a stake in Texas-based oil and natural gas company EXCO Resources for $372.5 million. EXCO announced in a statement Monday that Harbinger Group, the vehicle controlled by Phil Falcone’s hedge fund firm Harbinger Capital Partners, will own about 75% of EXCO under the partnership. EXCO will also receive $597.5 million in cash because the partnership will take on debt. The closing date of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Netflix Adopts Stockholder Rights Plan (WJBF)
Netflix adopts a “stockholder rights plan” designed to prevent activist shareholders from launching a hostile takeover. The plan would kick in if an individual or group acquires 10% or more Netflix shares without approval from Netflix’s board. If that happens, Netflix can now use a technical maneuver to flood the market with new shares and make a takeover expensive. The company made the move after Carl Icahn bought a 10% stake in the company last week.

End of the affair for hedge funds and oil? John Kemp (Reuters)
Hedge funds’ enthusiasm for U.S. crude has cooled off, at least for now, as the relentless rise in domestic shale output and the prospect of extended refinery maintenance in the Midwest extinguishes any hope of a rebound in U.S. oil futures to narrow the gap with Brent. Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net long position in WTI-related futures and options to just 154 million barrels on October 30 from 260 million on September 18, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

SEC Announces Assistance to Filers Affected by Hurricane Sandy (SEC)
In a continuing effort to provide assistance to individuals and entities attempting to comply with filing and other obligations under the federal securities laws in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the SEC today said it is preparing relief measures that would extend filing deadlines for those affected by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. On October 29, 2012, the Commission posted notice on its website that it understood filers may have difficulty making filings and that the staff would handle requests for filing date adjustments on a case-by-case basis. SEC staff are preparing relief measures that are expected to include extensions of filing deadlines for any filing due during the period from October 29, 2012 to November 20, 2012 for publicly traded companies, investment companies, investment advisers, other persons with filing obligations, accountants, brokerage firms, and transfer agents, among others.

Apple’s poison to hedgies’ returns (NYPost)
An Apple a day didn’t keep hedge funds from catching cold in October. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares have been one of the top holdings of hedge funds since 2001, particularly for the star hedgies. But October’s 9.7 percent drop in Apple shares — triggered by concerns over supply shortages for the latest iPhone — dinged a number of funds. Chase Coleman’s $8 billion Tiger Global and Lee Ainslee’s $10 billion Maverick Capital — both of which have Apple as a top position — were down for the month. Tiger Global fell 2 percent, while Maverick was down 2.17 percent through October 26, according to investors.