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STRATEGY/ANALYSIS

Retail investors pay price as hedge funds dominate ETFs
By Reuters
08/25/2014 11:07:22 AM ET

NEW YORK (IFR)—Junk-bond ETFs created for retail investors have been hijacked by hedge funds using them to make broad bets on bond prices, causing roller-coaster distortions in the high-yield market. Funds designed for retail investors have morphed into hedging tools that sell off too suddenly, and in too great a size, for illiquid high-yield bonds to keep up.
Argentina's default strategy raises debt acceleration risk
By Reuters
08/20/2014 6:03:32 PM ET

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters)—Argentina's plan to restructure its external debt to skirt a U.S. court ruling that prevented it paying its creditors boosts the risk of investors demanding the accelerated payment of their bond holdings.
'Good news' shock could kill the five-year-old bull market
By Reuters
08/20/2014 5:30:41 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—If bad economic news continues to translate into good news for investors, any sharp acceleration of the world economy from here could well kill off the long-running equity bull market. While a mid-summer wobble in global markets was blamed variously on anything from peripheral European bank woes to regional political conflicts from Ukraine to the Middle East, it's the familiar "bad news is good news" trope that's won out.
Fading volatility promises long period of gold stagnation
By Reuters
08/20/2014 5:11:59 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—Ultra-calm trading conditions in gold are becoming self-perpetuating as a persistent lack of volatility frustrates investors seeking a return, pushing them further away from a market that analysts say could be becalmed for years. Gold, which saw a dramatic reversal last year after a 12-year bull run took prices to record highs in 2011, has seen the spread between its daily price highs and lows narrow to just $15 an ounce this year on average, from nearly $25 in 2013.
Krom River keeps faith with commodities, bets on luring equity investors
By Reuters
08/20/2014 4:05:10 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—Commodity hedge fund Krom River is determined to stay the course in uncertain conditions despite a hefty sectoral slide, hoping for fresh inflows from investors fearing a retreat in equities. Commodity funds have been pummeled in recent years as pursuit of the asset class as an alternative investment lost its allure, a sharp contrast to its boom when investors were keen to ride a wave of infrastructure investment in China.
Stock traders seek edge in pre-market twilight zone
By Reuters
08/20/2014 3:50:09 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—On most weekday mornings over the past year, Paris-based financial trader David Sibi has turned on a computer program designed to try and beat the U.S.
Opportunities emerge on credit sell-off
By Reuters
08/15/2014 5:13:31 PM ET

LONDON (IFR)—The recent sell-off in European credit markets has provided a swathe of arbitrage opportunities for investors looking to use the correction as an entry point, but some analysts are advising against jumping back into cash bonds just yet. While credit spreads widened across the board, the sell-off was particularly pronounced in the high-yield space as the iTraxx Crossover index pushed out to 299bp on August 8 - its widest level since mid-March.
Small holding could trigger big acceleration on Argentina bonds
By Reuters
08/14/2014 5:24:19 PM ET

NEW YORK (IFR)—Owning just $25 million of bonds may be all it takes to accelerate payments on $30 billion of Argentina's restructured debt, if holders of a particularly small series of New York-law Pars decide to pull the trigger. Among all the bonds eligible to be accelerated, one Par in particular – the U.
Acceleration threatens to make Argentina holdout crisis messier
By Reuters
08/13/2014 11:40:52 AM ET

NEW YORK (IFR)—Holdout investors' legal battle with the Argentine sovereign could get a lot messier should holders of newly defaulted debt decide to declare principal and interest immediately due. The move, known as acceleration, could push Argentina into a new restructuring on up to $30 billion in debt and significantly complicate efforts to put its decade-long debt woes to rest.
Fund managers turn gumshoe as forensic short-selling pays off
By Reuters
08/12/2014 2:16:54 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—Fund managers are increasingly turning to investigative tactics, detailed accounting analysis and corporate sleuthing in a bid to uncover skeletons in company closets that can offer an investment edge in a low-yield world. While billionaire investors such as William Ackman and David Einhorn have made such tactics famous by respectively betting against nutrition group Herbalife – which denies Ackman's allegations it is a pyramid scheme – and Lehman Brothers in 2008, the broader industry is now adopting them.
Russia CDS trading booms following sanctions
By Reuters
08/08/2014 4:58:38 PM ET

LONDON (IFR)—Trading in Russian sovereign CDS has almost doubled since the start of the year, as U.S. and EU sanctions have steadily ramped up pressure on the Russian economy.
Markets scramble to find answer to Argentina default
By Reuters
08/08/2014 1:30:13 PM ET

NEW YORK (IFR)—Investors, bankers and legal experts are scrambling to find ways to end Argentina's decade-long legal dispute with holdouts before acceleration complicates the situation for all parties involved. An all-inclusive debt exchange, a buyback of debt held by holdouts and a waiver of the controversial RUFO clause are all ideas being pushed forward.
Hedge funds hit by RMBS margin calls
By Reuters
08/08/2014 1:14:04 PM ET

NEW YORK (IFR)—Several hedge funds have received margin calls in recent days on their holdings of risk-sharing RMBS bonds from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, market sources told IFR. The sources said the margin calls were met, but the event still unnerved the structured finance market, which has again become reliant on cheap leverage to sustain momentum.
Hedge funds eye a profit from European bank research retreat
By Reuters
08/04/2014 1:07:31 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—As Europe's big investment banks and brokerages scale back their research efforts, particularly towards small and mid-sized companies, some hedge funds and other specialist players spy an opportunity. If the major players aren't ferreting out investment ideas among Europe's thousands of non blue-chip companies, figuring the effort is too costly and time-consuming at a time of cutbacks and rationalization, other participants see a chance to capitalize on the resultant gap in the market.
High-yield investors welcome volatility
By Reuters
07/31/2014 6:59:48 PM ET

NEW YORK (IFR)—High-yield bankers will unleash a barrage of deals over the next two weeks, even though big outflows and rate rise fears have put the asset class in its most volatile state in months. With more than $5.
Ex-Citi FX trading head Prasad readies macro hedge fund
By Reuters
07/28/2014 4:40:45 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—Former global head of foreign exchange at Citigroup, Anil Prasad, is preparing to launch his own hedge fund in the first quarter of 2015, three sources familiar with the matter said. The launch comes as global regulatory changes restrict banks from trading with their own money, prompting so-called proprietary desk traders to strike out on their own.
Argentina and holdouts play chicken
By Reuters
07/25/2014 1:25:47 PM ET

NEW YORK (IFR/Reuters)—The prospect of a technical default by Argentina is looming as the government and holdout investors stare each other down in a very public battle of nerves ahead of the expiration of a grace period for debt payments on July 30. Efforts this week by U.
In the big bank asset sell-off, clarity is key: UBS chief
By Reuters
07/24/2014 2:11:15 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—When Sam Molinaro took on the job of shifting unwanted assets for UBS – all 430 billion Swiss francs ($480 billion) worth of them – his phone began to ring ceaselessly and his meetings diary filled up fast with potential buyers. Unfortunately, many of those chasing him left disappointed.
Investors swap grains for metals as flows trickle to commodities
By Reuters
07/22/2014 12:59:42 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—Investors are slowly being drawn back into commodities, attracted by stronger global economic growth and more volatility within sub-sectors, typified by current investment flows out of grains into industrial metals. The sector has been shunned in recent years, knocked by poor returns during the financial crisis which saw commodities move in step with other assets.
Foreign hedge funds could lose as Europe tightens rules
By Reuters
07/22/2014 11:35:18 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters)—Europe's move to tighten regulation of the hedge fund industry could give home-grown funds an edge over foreign rivals, many of which are still trying to absorb the new rules on attracting investor cash. The rules, known as the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AiFMD), were launched a year ago to create a single market for hedge funds and help protect investors by requiring funds to be more transparent and improve their risk management.






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