Unstructured Finance

Money manager titans who can’t wait until 2014

The year can’t end fast enough for some of the world’s biggest investors.

Bill Gross, who many like to consider the King of Bonds, lost one of his prized titles last week when his PIMCO Total Return Fund was stripped of its status as the world’s largest mutual fund because of lagging performance and a swamp of investor redemptions.

The PIMCO Total Return Fund — somewhat of a benchmark for many bond fund managers — had outflows of $4.4 billion in October, marking the fund’s sixth straight month of investor withdrawals, and lowered its assets to $248 billion, according to Morningstar.

For the year, the PIMCO Total Return Fund has had outflows of about $33.2 billion. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index now holds the title of world’s largest mutual fund with $251.1 billion.

Fears of rising interest rates once the Federal Reserve scales back its extraordinary stimulus have resulted in continued net cash outflows by investors and led to Gross’s fund being down 1.36 percent for the year — beating the industry benchmark but lagging behind many of the fund’s competitors.

Ray Dalio went into this year even more bullish than we thought

By Matthew Goldstein

Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio is really bullish on stocks and all things risky–at least he was in early January.

A few weeks ago, our competitors at Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal did a good job reporting on Dalio’s macro market thesis for 2013 when they got a transcript of an investor call (Bloomberg) and a sneak peak at Bridgewater Associates’ year-end report to investors (WSJ). But after taking my own recent look at Bridgewater’s year-end investor note–book is probably a better description for the 300-page plus bound treatise–you realize that bullish just doesn’t describe Bridgewater’s stance going in 2013.

Here’s a sampler of some of Bridgewater’s comments to investors:

“Cash in the developed world is a terrible asset.” “We would be short cash of all the major developed currencies” And this: “Bonds will be a lousy investment but cash will be worse.”

M & A wrap: Owners, insiders jockey ahead of LME sale

Market parties are jockeying ahead of a sale of the London Metal Exchange (LME), a deal that could radically alter the sway that banks and brokers hold over the world’s largest metals market.

Meanwhile, London Stock Exchange chief Xavier Rolet says he aims to put last year’s failed bid for Canada’s TMX Group behind him by forging ahead with plans to diversify.

Eastman Chemical is buying specialty chemical maker Solutia Inc for about $3.38 billion in cash and stock to extend its reach in emerging markets, particularly the Asia-Pacific region.

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