Hedge Fund News Wrap: Week Ending 03/20/15

(DealBook) – The nasty battle between Argentina and a group of New York hedge funds has claimed another victim: Citigroup.

The bank said on Tuesday that it would shut its custody business in Argentina after a federal judge in New York last week rejected its request to lift an order that prevented the bank from making interest payments to investors holding $2.3 billion in Argentine notes.

Citing an “unprecedented international conflict of laws,” Citigroup said its Argentine branch was making plans to close the custody business “as soon as possible,” according to a statement emailed on Tuesday. It will continue to pursue “all legal remedies,” the bank added.

The bruising defeat for Citigroup follows a decision by Judge Thomas P. Griesa of the Federal District Court in Manhattan last summer to block all interest payments on Argentine debt, a ruling that set off Argentina’s default last July 31.

Read the entire article at DealBook
More coverage: Bloomberg Business and Reuters

How an Ex-Moore Trader Got Caught in the Most Complicated Insider Trading Investigation in British History

(Bloomberg Business) – British authorities swept through the darkened streets of Oxford that Tuesday toward their appointment with a most wanted man.

The quarry in this pre-dawn hunt was, of all things, a hedge-fund trader. His name was Julian Rifat, and he was a principal target of Operation Tabernula — the biggest, most complex insider-trading investigation in British history.

What began that March morning, five years ago this month, might merit no more than a footnote in the annals of finance, except for this: nothing like it had ever happened before.

For years, British regulators had gone soft on insider trading. Before the 2008 financial crisis, no one had ever been prosecuted for it. But after the bust, amid all the finger-pointing, what is now the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority began hunting for scalps. Rifat, 45, got caught in the melee.

Read the entire article at Bloomberg Business
More coverage: Financial Times and HedgeCo

Alliance Trust Says Hedge Fund Bid Threatens Its Existence

(The Guardian) – Alliance Trust is facing a new battle over strategy and governance after Elliott Advisors – part of an activist New York hedge fund – called for the appointment of three new directors to the board of the Scottish investment group.

Elliott, which owns 12% of Alliance’s stock, has written to fellow shareholders calling on them to back the election of three heavyweight business names as non-executives at the firm’s annual shareholding meeting on 29 April.

The fund said it had gone public with its demands after its attempts to discuss matters of corporate governance and business concern had “not been met with any meaningful response”.

Alliance, based in Dundee, has 50,000 private investors; many of them pensioners who rely on the investment trust’s dividend, which has increased every year for nearly half a century.

Read the entire article at The Guardian
More coverage: Reuters and Financial News