Ackman’s Pershing Near Break Even on Losing Herbalife Bet (Bloomberg)
Bill Ackman is close to breaking even on his wager against Herbalife Ltd. (HLF), a trade by his Pershing Square Capital Management LP that he last month called its biggest loser, after the stock plunged following disclosure of a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation. Herbalife fell to a eight-month low of $49.54 on March 21, approaching the level when Ackman first put on his trade. The hedge-fund manager started what would become a $1 billion bet against the stock in May 2012, he has said, before disclosing it on Dec. 19 of that year. During that period the stock was trading at an average price of $48.58. Ackman has since restructured his Herbalife wager using long-term put options, making an exact determination of his break-even point difficult.
Tremors in the Palace of the Bond-Fund King (NYT)
William Powers, a senior executive at Pimco until 2010 and now a private equity investor, said Mr. Gross was “an autocrat” who brooked little dissent. “Those who disagree do so at their peril,” Mr. Powers said on Bloomberg TV. He added that Mr. El-Erian had improved the atmosphere at the company by establishing a more collaborative management structure, so there is reason to hope that “this sets up a very healthy future.” Laird R. Landmann, co-director of fixed-income at TCW, has worked at Pimco and has many friends there. “Bill Gross is a genius, the best there is at bond trading,” Mr. Landmann said. He added, however, that anyone who has ever worked at Pimco “will tell you that Bill is authoritarian, that there are times when you just know that you can’t talk to him.”
Macquarie Sees 2014 Net Income Climbing to Six-Year High (Bloomberg)
Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG), Australia’s biggest investment bank, expects its full-year earnings to rise as much as 45 percent to the highest since 2008 as the outlook for its fixed-income, currencies and commodities unit improved.
Top J.P. Morgan Executive in China Expected to Resign (WSJ)
One of J.P. Morgan Chase JPM & Co.’s top China executives is expected to resign amid a continuing probe of the U.S. bank’s Asian hiring practices, according to people familiar with the situation. It isn’t known why Fang Fang, who is chief executive for China investment banking and vice chairman of investment banking in Asia, decided to leave the largest U.S. bank after more than a decade of deal-making. He recently told the bank he wanted to retire, one of these people said.
Report: Germans seize cocaine on its way to Vatican (AP)
The drug haul was unremarkable, but the destination raised eyebrows. German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday that customs officials intercepted a cocaine shipment destined for the Vatican in January. Officers at Leipzig airport found 12 ounces of the drug packed into 14 condoms inside a shipment of cushions coming from South America. The paper says the package was simply addressed to the Vatican postal office, meaning any of the Catholic mini-state’s 800 residents could have picked it up…Neither German customs nor the Vatican could be immediately reached for comment. Read more »