Opening Bell: 06.09.11

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Gross Has ‘No Regrets’ Missing Treasury Bond Rally for Long-Term Strategy (Bloomberg)
While that may seem disappointing for a manager who has outperformed 99 percent of his rivals the past five years, history shows that Gross’s calls often seem wrong before proving accurate and generating above-average returns for investors. In 2007, his fund lost about 0.8 percent through June, trailing the performance of 80 percent of comparable funds before rebounding to beat 99 percent of them for the year as the Federal Reserve began to lower interest rates, as he predicted.

Big Funds See Red in China (WSJ)
A long list of money managers like Fidelity have invested in Chinese companies that have made public filings over the past six months, alerting investors to potential accounting errors, fraud, a change in auditor or regulatory investigation. Firms to have invested in Chinese companies that have made such filings include the Vanguard Group; hedge-fund managers Citadel LLC, AQR Capital Management and Renaissance Technologies LLC; and private-equity firms Carlyle and Oaktree Capital Management, according to Capital IQ. Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley invested on behalf of clients, the database said, as well as the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension fund.

Hedge funds 'grabbing land' in Africa (BBC)
In a report, the Oakland Institute said hedge funds and other foreign firms had acquired large swathes of African land, often without proper contracts…Foreign firms farm the land to consolidate their hold over global food markets, the report said. They also use land to "make room" for export commodities such as biofuels and cut flowers. "This is creating insecurity in the global food system that could be a much bigger threat than terrorism," the report said.

LinkedIn-Inspired ‘Low-Float’ IPOs Threaten Return to 1999 Web Valuations (Bloomberg)
Three weeks after LinkedIn made less than 10 percent of the company available in its IPO, Pandora Media Inc. is working on its own “low-float” offering, and Zynga Inc. is planning a similar strategy with its share sale later this month, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Surging demand for new Internet companies, combined with a dearth of available shares, may give the businesses higher valuations than they deserve, said Francis Gaskins, president of industry tracker IPODesktop.com.

Eyes on Goldman-Libya Dealings (WSJ)
U.S. securities regulators are examining whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other financial firms might have violated bribery laws in dealings with Libya's sovereign-wealth fund, according to people familiar with the matter…Among other things, SEC officials are interested in a $50 million fee Goldman initially agreed to pay the Libyan sovereign-wealth fund as part of a proposal by the New York company to help the fund recoup losses, according to these people.

BOE Keeps Interest Rate at Record Low (Bloomberg)
The nine-member Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mervyn King, held the key rate at 0.5 percent, as forecast by all 55 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The bank also left its bond-purchase program at 200 billion pounds ($328 billion), as predicted by 35 economists in a separate poll.

Second Greek bailout likely around 90 bln euros-source (Reuters)
The second emergency loan programme for Greece is likely to be around 90 billion euros, coming on top of what remains to be paid out from the first plan, a Eurogroup source said on Thursday.

U.S. Hedge Funds to Fight Bank of Ireland Restructuring (WSJ)
A group of U.S. hedge funds with large stakes in Bank of Ireland PLC's subordinated debt is preparing to fight the government's proposed restructuring of €2.6 billion ($3.82 billion) in junior bonds…The group claims to control almost a third of the bonds, also called Tier 2 securities, Mr. Lauria said. Members of the committee include Appaloosa Management LP, Marathon Asset Management LP, QVT Financial LP and Värde Partners Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

Royal Bank of Scotland boss admits taxpayers' money could have 'leaked' into bankers' bonuses (Daily Mail)
Stephen Hester conceded there may have been some 'leakage' from that money into the bonus pool…The Royal Bank of Scotland is 83 percent owned by the taxpayer and is now shedding 3,500 jobs with more than half of the bank's administration centres facing the axe across the UK.

Why Did Dimon Challenge Bernanke On Wall Street Regulation? (Bloomberg)
“Most bankers operate behind the scenes,” said FBR’s Paul Miller. “Why did Jamie feel he had to come out public with this? Is he not getting any satisfaction behind the scenes, because you would think he has access.”

IKOS’s Ambrosiadou to Appear at Hedge Fund Gala Amid Husband’s Spy Claims (Bloomberg)
Once labeled the U.K.’s highest-paid woman, Ambrosiadou has spent three weeks fending off spying allegations and claims by her estranged husband that he still owns a stake in the $2.5 billion hedge fund. She’ll be hard to miss tonight at one of London’s biggest annual charity events: she has paid for two tables at the Absolute Return for Kids dinner, according to her spokesman. ARK says tables cost a minimum of 100,000 pounds ($164,070) each.

Bank Said No? Hedge Funds Fill a Void in Lending (DealBook)
With traditional lenders still avoiding risky borrowers in the wake of the financial crisis, hedge funds and other opportunistic investors are stepping into the void. They are going after midsize businesses that cannot easily raise money in the bond markets like their bigger brethren.

Citi admits customer data at risk after breach (FT)
The US bank on Wednesday revealed details of the breach, which it said it discovered in early May through routine monitoring, after being questioned by the Financial Times. The bank said that about 1 per cent of its card customers were affected. Citi Cards has about 21m customers in North America, according to the bank’s annual report. The breach occurred at Citi Account Online, which holds basic customer information such as names, account numbers and e-mail addresses. Other information such as birth dates, social security numbers and card security codes are held elsewhere and were not compromised, Citi said.

Weiner abides despite new photo, baby on the way (AP)
A newly released X-rated photo that Weiner purportedly took of himself turned up on the Internet. And his wife of less than a year, Huma Abedin, is pregnant.

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