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The Morning Brief: Brevan Howard Shutters Emerging Markets Fund

Another hedge fund is shutting down. London-based Brevan Howard Asset Management is closing its $2 billion emerging markets fund, which lost 15 percent last year, according to the New York Times’ DealBook blog. The fund’s manager, Geraldine Sundstrom, is leaving the firm, which manages a total of $40 billion. As we earlier reported, the firm’s flagship Master Fund gained an anemic 2.6 percent last year, leading founder Alan Howard to admit in his year-end letter that it was “somewhat disappointing.” The $4.4 billion BH Credit Catalysts rose 13.9 percent in 2013, while the $2.4 billion BH Asia fund gained 11.6 percent.

Sam Zell and David Helfand have been added to the slate of independent directors nominated for election to the board of trustees of CommonWealth REIT if the pending consent solicitation to remove all the current trustees is successful. Dissident shareholders Corvex Management and Related Fund Management have been trying to change Commonwealth’s board since February 2013. Neither Zell nor Helfand or their affiliates owns any CommonWealth stock.

However, Corvex and Related have granted an entity associated with Zell and Helfand an option to acquire up to four million CommonWealth shares. Zell, a long-time real estate investor, serves as chairman of four public companies, two of which are REITs — Equity Residential and Equity LifeStyle Properties. Zell is also chairman of two private investment firms, including Equity Group Investments (EGI), which he founded over 40 years ago. Helfand is co-president of EGI.

Cogent Energy Investment Management, a hedge fund founded by three former Enron traders, gained 15.44 percent in January thanks to rising natural gas and electricity prices, according to Bloomberg. The Stamford, Connecticut fund founded a year ago by Fletcher Sturm, Robert Benson and Frank Ermis invests in exchange-cleared gas and electricity contracts based on fundamental analysis. Cogent rose 10.76 percent in 2013. The firm manages about $48 million
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Shares of General Growth Properties surged 2.21 percent, to close at $21.29, one day after the real estate investment trust (REIT) announced it bought all of the more than 27.6 million shares of common stock owned by affiliates of William Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management. The company shelled out $20.12 per share for a total of $556 million. Pershing Square, which runs a concentrated portfolio, no longer owns any shares of the company.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Tuesday continued riding a caffeine high. Its shares surged another 7.65 percent to close at $119.40. The stock is now up nearly 50 percent in just the past four trading days since the company announced a major deal with Coca-Cola.

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