This content is from: Portfolio

The Morning Brief: A Rough May, a Mediocre Year So Far

The average hedge fund picked up a mere 0.35 percent in May, according to eVestment calculations. This brings the gain for the year to 3.36 percent. Long-short equity and activist funds are outperforming the Standard & Poor’s 500 so far this year. However, in emerging markets, performance varies widely. For example, eVestment notes that China-focused funds are up nearly 26 percent year-to-date while Brazil funds have dropped more than 13 percent. We earlier noted that the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index rose 0.7 percent in May and 3.9 percent for the year, slightly better numbers than eVestment’s.

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Paul Singer’s Elliott Associates continues to apply more pressure on South Korea-based Samsung C&T. The New York hedge fund firm is attempting to block the planned acquisition of Samsung C&T by Cheil Industries, a South Korean company that is also an affiliate of Samsung Group. Elliott says it has begun legal proceedings to gain an injunction against Samsung C&T and its directors in an attempt to prevent the deal from moving forward. “Elliott continues to believe that the proposed takeover is clearly neither fair to nor in the best interests of Samsung C&T’s shareholders, and that it is unlawful,” the New York firm said in a statement issued Tuesday. The Lee family, which founded Samsung Group, is trying to boost its control of the group through the acquisition.

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Shares of biotechnology company Mannkind Tuesday dropped more than 7 percent to $6.70 per share. Earlier in the day, we reported that Jason Karp, founder of New York–based Tourbillon Capital Partners, believes the stock is “worthless.” Its trading volume Tuesday was four times its recent average. On Monday the stock surged 18 percent on more than five times its average volume.

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D.E. Shaw disclosed it owns nearly 6.4 million shares of Tesoro Corporation, or 5.1 percent of the total outstanding of the refiner and marketer of petroleum products.

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Ricky Sandler’s Eminence Capital sold more than one million shares of The Men’s Wearhouse for between $57 and $58 per share, reducing its stake to 6.6 percent. Last year the clothing retailer agreed to acquire Jos. A. Bank for $1.8 billion after a protracted takeover battle, which Sandler tried to influence.

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