Unstructured Finance

Bankex up over 2 percent

The BSE Banking index gained more than 2 percent on Tuesday as the overall market ended firm after gaining over 250 points.

HDFC Bank shares rose more than 3 percent and ended as the top gainer in the index, followed by SBI which gained over 2.5 percent.

Do you think the sector will rally further?

The search for Einhorn’s gold


By Matthew Goldstein

These days, all anyone wants to talk about with David Einhorn is his tentative $200 million investment in the New York Mets. But baseball may not be the hedge fund manager’s only interest in Queens–the New York City borough where the Mets play their home games.

A person familiar with the hedge fund industry says a secured facility in Queens is where Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital stores some of the gold bullion it has invested in. An Einhorn spokesman declined to comment on the speculation about the location of the hedge fund’s so-called physical gold.

Greenlight began investing in gold bars in its main flagship fund in 2009. Last year, Einhorn launched a dedicated gold-only fund for investors wanting a more concentrated exposure to the precious metal. As of March 30, this dedicated gold fund had raised about $556 million from 130 investors. In all, Greenlight now manages about $7.8 billion.

Deals wrap: Wanting a bigger voice

Pension funds and endowments are sending hedge fund managers a friendly message – let us sit in the front seat with you, please. A 42-page long guide now offers detailed suggestions on how hedge funds should be managed. Download the PDF format guide here.

Chemicals maker Ashland said it will buy International Specialty Products for about $3.2 billion in cash to expand in high-growth markets such as personal care, pharmaceutical and energy.

South Africa approved Wal-Mart’s $2.4 billion bid for local retailer Massmart without conditions that could have jeopardized the deal, opening the door for the U.S. giant to expand into fast-growing Africa.

No comfort for hedgies

By Matthew Goldstein

The news that federal investigators had been gathering evidence of potentially improper trading against one of the founders of Loch Capital Management since early 2009 should make some hedge fund managers nervous–especially ones whose funds were big users of expert network firms like Primary Global Research.

Ever since the FBI raided three hedge funds last November, people in the hedge industry have been grumbling that the high-profile raids–which ultimately forced Loch and Level Global Investors to shut down–may have been an indication that U.S. authorities rushed to judgment. That’s especially since no one at Loch, Level Global or Diamondback Capital has been charged with any improper trading based on stock tips gleaned from a consultant with an expert network firm.

As I reported, a court filing shows that some 18 months before the FBI raided Loch, Diamondback and Level Global, authorities already had some evidence from an informant that Loch co-founder Todd McSweeney may have gotten “inside information” fromĀ  Primary Global information. So far, neither McSweeney nor his twin brother Tim, the fund’s other co-founder, has been charged with any wrongdoing.

Deals wrap: MGM China IPO may be a gamble for investors

Macau casino operator MGM China, co-owned in part by casino mogul Stanley Ho’s daughter Pansy Ho, raised $1.5 billion from its Hong Kong initial public offering after pricing it at the top of its indicative range, triggering some concerns about lofty valuations.

Gambling revenues in the world’s largest gaming market are at record highs, dwarfing those of Las Vegas and fueling a surge in share prices of local casino operators that boosted demand for MGM China’s IPO.

But the rally may have pushed stock prices in the sector too far, reducing their appeal to some investors according to some analysts.

Deals wrap: Maple’s hostle bid for TMX may change exchange landscape

The London Stock Exchange faced an increasingly bitter battle for control of Canadian peer TMX Group after rival bidder Maple Group took its higher offer directly to shareholders.

Maple Group of Canadian banks and pension funds hostile $3.7 billion bid for TMX hopes to galvanize simmering nationalistic opposition to a foreign takeover of the country’s main exchange.

While the LSE is countering with the argument that its takeover would give TMX a launching point to the international stage, TMX shareholders’ decision could determine not only the fate of TMX but also that of the LSE.

Einhorn’s Field of Dreams

By Matthew Goldstein

David Einhorn’s decision to plunk $200 million on the cash-strapped NY Mets could be a bullish development for investors holding the bonds to finance the baseball team’s new stadium.

At last look, most of the bonds that were sold in 2006 to finance the construction of Citi Fields were selling for between 79 cents and 85 cents on the dollar. The distressed price for the $547 million bond issuance is a reflection of the dire financial situation the Mets are in and the reason principal owner Fred Wilpon is selling a big minority stake to Einhorn.

But if Major League Baseball approves the deal with the Greenlight Capital hedge fund manager, it could boost the value of those stadium bonds.

PF account access online – a model to follow?

With a 9.5 percent interest rate and attached tax benefits, provident fund (PF) is perhaps one of the most favoured investment avenues for salaried individuals.

If you have been working for a few years, you would have accumulated a decent balance by now. But can you instantly access your latest PF balance, accumulated interest and check whether your employer has been making regular contributions or not?

This will be possible soon for around 47 million subscribers of the employee provident fund organisation (EPFO), when they will be able to access their PF accounts online.

L&T shares fall over 2 pct

Shares in Larsen & Toubro fell 2.2 percent on Wednesday as the overall market remained weak and ended down over 150 points.

RBS on Friday raised its rating on Larsen & Toubro to “buy” from “hold”, calling it the “best play on the broad-based longer-term capex story”. It also raised the price target on the stock to 1,854 rupees from 1,800 earlier.

Do you think it is a good time to enter the stock?

Deals wrap: Treasury sells stake of AIG

The Treasury made a small profit when it sold a portion of its shares in AIG, but it was unclear how its investment in the beleaguered insurer will ultimately fare.

Tuesday’s $8.7 billion stock offering, (being dubbed by some as AIG’s re-IPO) which included 200 million shares sold by the Treasury and 100 million sold by AIG itself, is far smaller than the $10 billion to $20 billion deal some banking sources had suggested earlier this year, hinting at a potential lack of investor interest.

With the sale, the Treasury has raised $5.8 billion of the $47.5 billion it needs to break even and now has another 1.5 billion shares to sell.