Bridgewater is biggest hedge fund

Friday, 4 March 2011 02:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BOSTON: Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates kept its crown as the largest US hedge fund by pulling in more money than anyone else in 2010 when a insider trading probe and some big departures preoccupied investors.

According to a report, Bridgewater increased its assets by $15.3 billion last year, thanks largely to a 44.8 per cent gain in its Pure Alpha Fund II. The Westport, Connecticut-based firm now oversees $58.9 billion.

JP Morgan Asset Management stayed in second place with $45.5 billion, $7.1 billion more than a year earlier. And John Paulson’s Paulson & Co stayed in the number three spot with $36 billion, marking a $4 billion gain, the magazine reported.

The biggest loser among the blue chip group was D.E. Shaw, which saw its assets shrink by about 40 per cent, AR said.

Last year the biggest hedge funds bulked up with the top 10 funds that each manage $1 billion or more adding assets, the magazine’s report said. Academic studies have suggested that investors feel better in putting their money with large and long-established hedge funds.

That point may have been driven home in 2010 when the government’s investigation into insider trading intensified with questions raised on how hedge funds use so-called expert networks. Level Global Investors, one of the funds raided by federal agents in November, said it is shutting down. Neither the firm nor anyone there has been accused of wrongdoing.

While many of the industry’s biggest players, including Soros Fund Management and Och-Ziff Capital grew, former heavyweight D.E. Shaw tumbled and now manages about $14.23 billion.

Long-known for charging some of the industry’s highest fees, D.E. Shaw recently told investors that it would charge them less. The firm posted disappointing returns in 2010 and was forced to lay off 10 per cent of its employees to save money.

Libya ranks among world’s largest sovereign wealth funds

NEW YORK: Libya ranks among the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds as it always had large amounts of cash to throw around because of its huge reserves of high-quality crude oil, a media report said.

Libya had created a $60 billion sovereign wealth fund after the UN lifted its economic sanctions on the country in 2003. Today, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) ranks among the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, the CNN reported Wednesday.

The country also uses the Libyan Central Bank and the Libyan Foreign Bank as channels to invest, focusing mainly on domestic and African investments, it said.

Libya had “about $32 billion in liquidity” stored in US banks in January 2010, CNNMoney said citing documents made public by the WikiLeaks. That’s roughly equivalent to the amount the US Treasury Department had frozen earlier this week.

Libya even invested over $300 million into the now defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers, according to US bankruptcy court filings. The country is fighting in the courts to recover those losses.

In Canada, Libya made one of its first private-equity deals by purchasing Verenex Energy for about $320 million in 2009.

Libya put the bulk of its cash to work in Europe and the United Kingdom, partly because of its geographic proximity, CNN said quoting Wikileaks.

The LIA also has stakes in Italian companies like oil giant Eni, defence contractor Finmeccanica and UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank. The LIA also has a 7.5 percent stake in Juventus.

It also owns a 3.3 percent stake in Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times and Penguin Publishing in Britain. The fund also has stakes in several commercial real estate properties in Britain, the CNN reported.