Each day, DailyAlts tracks major developments across the alternative investment world. Our content is procured from primary contacts in the industry and secondary sources across the web. Our goal is to give readers the most up-to-date news and engaging experience to open new doors and areas of knowledge. Our stories cover nine separate verticals of the alternative investment industry.

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Artificial Intelligence: AMD Takes On Rivals In The AI Chip Sweepstakes

December 7, 2023

Chipmaker AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) has unveiled a range of innovative AI solutions spanning from data centers to personal computers. The AMD Instinct MI300 Series features data center AI accelerators, while the ROCm 6 open software stack introduces new features supporting Large Language Models (LLMs). Additionally, the Ryzen 8040 Series processors come equipped with Ryzen AI capabilities.


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Digital Assets: A World-beating Digital Yuan Taking Shape?

December 26, 2019

Mu Changchun, head of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency research institute, said China’s “central bank digital currency” (CBDC) would be “a digital form of the yuan.” Mu is also the Chinese central bank’s official in charge of the country’s new sovereign digital currency.
“The currency is not for speculation. It is different to bitcoin or stable tokens, which can be used for speculation or require the support of a basket of currencies,” Mu said, according to the South China Morning Post.

Venture Capital: Electric Vehicle Maker Rivian’s Monster Funding Round

December 26, 2019

Rivian just raised $1.3 billion from top-notch investors.
The humongous new raise, led by T Rowe Price, added $1.3 billion to Rivian’s coffers. It included existing investors Ford Motor and BlackRock Inc also invested in the round, according to Fortune.
This raising follows on previous funding this year of $1.55 billion from Amazon ($700 million), Ford ($500 million), and Cox Automotive ($350 million).

Digital Assets: Facebook’s Libra Rollout Plan Hazy

December 25, 2019

There is no concrete plan yet for the launch of the Facebook-led Libra digital currency, according to Reuters’ interview with Ellis.
Though Libra is scheduled to roll out by June of 2020, a regulatory backlash has put a cloud on that date.

Digital Assets: The Dawn of Quantum Computing a Nightmare for Bitcoin?

December 24, 2019

Google’s recent announcement of successful quantum computing could spell doom for 4 million bitcoins.
Bitcoin is a massively juicy target for a quantum computing criminal. Financial analysts have long predicted that quantum computing is a huge risk to cryptocurrencies. Why?
It’s because quantum computing is leagues ahead of contemporary computing. Google’s October announcement said its Sycamore chip performed a computation in 200 seconds that would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years.

Private Equity Firm Lone Star Looking to Buy Unizo Holdings?

December 24, 2019

Unizo Holdings, the Japanese hotel company, said this weekend that a new bidder has emerged with a friendly offer. U.S. investment fund Lone Star is expected to launch a tender offer this week as part of a friendly bid to acquire the chain.

Alternative Investments: As China Liberalises, Amundi Wins Joint Venture Approval

December 24, 2019

Amundi Asset Management gains an early mover advantage in China.
Amundi, Europe’s largest asset manager with € 1.563 trillion of assets, secured approval for the first foreigner controlled wealth management joint venture in China.
On Friday, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) greenlighted the Shanghai-based joint venture between Amundi and Bank of China Wealth Management (BOC). The JV would be owned 55% by Amundi and 45% by BOC.

Negative Interest Rates Accelerate in Europe, Impact Fund Fees

December 24, 2019

Negative interest rates have added another casualty. According to Pensions and Investments, 50.7% of European government bonds and 28.3% of euro-denominated investment-grade corporate bonds have negative yields.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management Raises $5.5 Billion for Its Third Global Infrastructure Fund

December 23, 2019

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners (MSIP) announced it has raised $5.5 billion for North Haven Infrastructure Partners III. The private infrastructure investment team within Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) raised that money side months after the fund’s initial close in June.

HFR: New Hedge Fund Launches Decline in the Third Quarter

December 23, 2019

New hedge fund launches declined in the third quarter. This news reverses the trend of the first half of the year. The number of launches fell to its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2008. 

Adams Street Partners Raises $740 Million for 2019 Global Fund Program

December 23, 2019

Adams Street Partners announce the final closing of the Adams Street 2019 Partnership Fund Program. The firm locked up roughly $740 million in capital commitments.

The global fund program received strong demand from investors worldwide. In a press release, the firm said new and existing investors came from the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Its investor base included public and corporate pension plans, high net worth individuals, foundations, and endowments. Adams Street Partners currently manages $40 billion in assets.

Former Chicago Board Options Exchange Director Gets Seven Years in Prison

December 23, 2019

Alvin Wilkinson once worked as director of the Chicago Board Options Exchange. Today, he’s facing seven years in prison, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. Wilkinson swindled millions from unsuspecting investors over a 17-year period. He faced charges of mail fraud and wire fraud in 2017. Among the at least 30 victims of his Ponzi-type scheme were friends, family, and colleagues.

Hedge Fund Marcato Capital to Shut Down, Return Capital to Investors

December 23, 2019

Marcato Capital Partners will showdown after two years of lackluster returns. Multiple media outlets reported the developments on Sunday. According to such reports, Marcato founder and PM Richard McGuire started telling his investors of plans to shut the fund last week. Given that the portfolio is currently holding a lot of cash, McGuire plans to return the money quickly, the report indicates. The firm has faced a series of redemption requests over the last few months.

Private Equity Firm Lone Star Buys BASF Chemical Business

December 23, 2019

Lone Star, the Dallas-based PE shop, has purchased the Construction Chemicals business of BASF. The $3.51 billion deal will likely close in Q3 2020. The deal comes as BASF attempts to focus on more profitable operations after this deal, according to a press release. Reuters had reported that a deal was likely last month after Lone Star aligned itself with several firms seeking a deal. The PE shop had walked away from a bid, but returned after invitation.

Former Hedge Fund BlueCrest Capital Now Sitting on a 50% Gain for 2019

December 23, 2019

BlueCrest Capital has earned 50% gains since the start of the year. This is a remarkably solid return after the company returned outside investor capital four years ago. The Financial Times says that the firm has capitalized on emerging-market bonds and trading interest rates. A 50% return through November is well ahead of the 9% earned by by the average hedge fund in 2019. Over the first 11 months, hedge funds are averaging returns of 9%, according to HFR. The S&P 500, meanwhile, has gained 28%.

Aberdeen Standard to Manage LF Woodford Income Focus Fund

December 23, 2019

Standard Life Investments will now manage the LF Woodford Income Focus fund, according to Link Fund Solutions. The arm of Aberdeen Standard Investments will replace Neil Woodford, whose flagship fund collapsed in October. Regulators suspended the fund that month thanks to ongoing challenges around its liquidity. ASI will take over the $351 million fund on December 31. Link said in a statement last week that it will reopen the fund in February 2020.

Community Banking: Evans Bancorp to Buy FSB Bancorp

December 20, 2019

Evans Bancorp announced this week plans to purchase FSB Bancorp (FSBC) for approximately $34.7 million.

The price of $17.80 per share for FSB Bancorp will be paid 50% in cash and 50% in the stock.

The transaction is subject regulatory and shareholder approval and is expected to close in the second quartered 2020

Community Banking: Cambridge Financial Group Will Buy Melrose Bancorp

December 20, 2019

Cambridge Financial Group is acquiring Melrose Bancorp (MELR) for $25 a share in cash. The mutual holding company for Cambridge Savings Bank will receive quite a boost after this deal. Cambridge would have assets of approximately $4.7 billion and a branch network of 17 full-service offices. The transaction is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval and should close in the second quarter of 2020.

Community Banking Merger: Kearny Financial Buys MSB Financial

December 20, 2019

Kearney Financial announced it will purchase MSB Financial, the holding company for Millington Bank, for approximately $94 million. The price will be paid in either 1.3 shares of KRNY common stock or $18.00 in cash.

New Preqin Report

Hedge Funds: November 2019 Saw Good Gains, says Preqin

December 20, 2019

A rally in the global markets pushed November hedge fund returns higher.
The Preqin All-Strategies Hedge Funds benchmark gained +1.29% in November. That built on a +0.88% return in October and +0.4% in September. Hedge funds got a tailwind from the global rally in equities in November.

Hedge Funds: ValueAct Capital Gets Access to Confidential Citi Information for Another Two Years

December 20, 2019

ValueAct Capital Gets Access to Confidential Citi Information for Another Two Years. In return, ValueAct will support Citi’s board and management.
ValueAct Capital, one of the most followed activist hedge funds in the industry, first engaged with Citi in early 2018. Back then, ValueAct Capital acquired a stake in Citi, which is currently 1.3%. In January 2019, Citi and ValueAct entered an Information Sharing and Engagement Agreement valid through December 2019. This agreement has been revalidated for another two years.

Alternative Investments: SEC to Redefine The Term “Accredited Investor”

December 20, 2019

The SEC is proposing to amend the rules that define the term “accredited investor,” a class of investors allowed to invest in private market investments such as hedge funds and startups. The threshold to qualify as an accredited investor is currently $1 million.

Activist Update: Jonathan Litt Wants to Create a Casino REIT Colossus

December 20, 2019

Jonathan Litt Wants to Create a Casino REIT Colossus. Litt’s firm, Land & Buildings (L&B), has accumulated a “significant” position in GLPI, Litt revealed on Twitter on Wednesday. Besides, GLPI is now also L&B’s “largest position,” he tweeted. Litt says a GLPI-Vici deal will create a significant upside for GLPI shareholders.

Melvin: Hedge Fund Tiger Cubs Still Bullish on Chewy, But Why?

December 20, 2019

Is Chewy a good stock to buy? Not according to David Einhorn. In his 2nd quarter shareholder letter, the Greenlight Capital manager talked disparagingly about Chewy (CHWY), the online pet products company.

Artificial Intelligence: Walmart’s Cutting Edge Use of AI and Machine Learning in Retail

December 20, 2019

Walmart straddles both brick-and-mortar and online, giving it a unique tech perspective. In new applications, Walmart uses machine learning, barcode technology, facial recognition, IoT, and RFID to enhance the shopping experience. Earlier this year, Walmart unveiled its store of the future at the Neighborhood Market in Levittown, New York.