Money managers under the microscope
Big fall in short selling of sterling since budget- Daily Telegraph
Hedge fund stories from the past 24 hours from Reuters and elsewhere:
Hedge funds seek closure of Venus Remedies - Economic Times
New Merk funds offer currency for all – Reuters
Hedgies profit from bank rally – MarketWatch
Tudor’s Hillery joins Brevan Howard - FT Alphaville
2008 may have been the year of shorting imperilled financials, but 2009 could be the year of shorting companies with too much debt or those bearing the brunt of the recession.
Numbers from Dataexplorers show Consumer Discretionary and Industrials are among the sectors with the most stock out on loan in the UK– a good indicator of short-selling activity.
Hedge Hub readers shouldn’t have been too surprised by yesterday’s 15 percent slump in Yell’s share price.
The directories firm — the one behind the UK’s Yellow Pages — faces months of talks with banks and shareholders after yesterday saying it plans to restructure its roughly 4 billion-pound debt burden for the second time in nine months.
Convertible arbitrage is the hedge fund trade of the moment, with top-ranking returns of 12.58 percent so far this year, but there could be more to come.
The strategy, in which managers usually buy a convertible bond and short the underlying stock, is proving particularly profitable because the bonds are rebounding from the battering they took last year. The strategy lost 31.59 percent, the second-worst performing strategy, in 2008 as funds scrambled to sell their positions in what had become a crowded trade.
David Einhorn again sent markets scurrying last week when he told investors he was shorting Moody’s Corp, but the Greenlight Capital manager’s latest thumbs down packed a weaker punch than his past, celebrated broadsides.
To be fair, Einhorn had a tough act to follow. A year ago, he boldly said Lehman Brothers was in much worse shape than its management would admit. Four months later — the bank went bankrupt and the shares were wiped out. It took more than six years, but his warnings about business lender Allied Capital also proved accurate and ultimately very profitable.
Plenty has happened since the UK brought in its temporary ban on short-selling financial stocks last year — Madoff, Weavering, hedge fund outflows, the EC’s controversial plans for hedge fund rules, and even a few hedge funds making money.
However, behind the scenes, the debate on how to handle this controversial practice rumbles on, and today the Investment Management Association published its response to the FSA’s discussion paper, now that the period for responses has closed.