BRAMDEAN FUND POSTS HEAVY FALL
Bramdean Alternatives, the listed fund of alternative funds, has posted its worst monthly fall in net asset value in sterling terms since its inception two years ago. The fund, which is managed by Nicola Horlick’s Bramdean Asset Management, suffered a 7.7 per cent fall in net asset value to 81.35p in May, reflecting the currency movement in its dollar-denominated portfolio of investments. However, the underlying movement in the value of the company’s portfolio of assets – mainly stakes in hedge funds and private equity funds as well as about a third in cash – was largely static.In dollar terms, the net asset value climbed slightly by 0.5 per cent.
INSURERS FACE $6BN BILL FOR D&O
The financial crisis could cost insurers $6bn (£3.7bn) on policies that protect US companies and directors from legal costs, insurance consultants have warned. Disgruntled investors hoping to recover their losses have filed a spate of lawsuits against companies and their executives since 2007, resulting in a dramatic increase in claims activity under so-called directors and officers (D&O) policies. Towers Perrin and Cornerstone Research said 210 securities class actions were filed last year, up 19 per cent on 2007.
EUROPE’S NEW CDS PRICE STRUCTURE
Europe’s market for credit default swaps – used to protect investors against bond defaults – adopted a new pricing structure on Monday as part of a drive to eliminate counterparty risk. The introduction of fixed coupons to price the CDS on single name European company debt means the seller of default protection will receive part of the premium upfront, with the other part paid over the term of the contract.
GAS WAR LOOMS AS UKRAINE SEEKS CASH TO PAY GAZPROM
A summer gas war is brewing in Ukraine, threatening another cut-off of Russian gas supplies into Europe and a worsening of the cash squeeze on Gazprom, Russia’s biggest company. Eleventh-hour talks are under way between the European Union, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to secure a stop-gap loan of $4bn (£2.44bn) to pay for Ukraine’s gas needs.
MARKETS TAKE FRIGHT OVER WORLD RECOVERY PROSPECTS
Shares tumbled on both sides of the Atlantic yesterday as stock markets took fright over uncertain prospects for a global recovery after a series of warnings from key policymakers and institutions.
The Daily Telegraph
SEC CHARGES BERNARD MADOFF ASSOCIATES WITH FRAUD
America’s leading financial regulator has for the first time alleged that disgraced financier Bernard Madoff did not work alone on planning and carrying out his $65bn (£40bn) fraud, charging four of his associates with securities fraud. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges the quartet assisted the orchestrator of the largest Ponzi scheme in US history by bringing in investors to his fund in return for generous pay-offs.
CITY WARNS EU RULES ARE A THREAT TO UK ECONOMY
The City of London has warned that new European regulations could ride roughshod over the interests of the UK, where the financial services sector employs more than 1m people and generates billions of pounds in income.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
KODAK TO STOP MAKING KODACHROME
Eastman Kodak has said it will discontinue its iconic Kodachrome color film this year due to tumbling sales as photographers embrace newer Kodak films or digital-imaging technology. Kodak introduced the amateur color film in 1935 and it became the first commercially successful color film.
AUTO SURVEY SHOWS PROGRESS FOR DETROIT
Detroit auto makers increased their new-vehicle quality scores by an average of 10 per cent in an influential industry survey despite being rocked by bankruptcies and a world-wide economic recession. Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC reduced the number of troubles reported by consumers during their first 90 days of ownership.