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Alternative Market Briefing

John Paulson buys $800m stakes in American International Group

Monday, May 18, 2015

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

John Paulson’s New York-based hedge fund, Paulson & Co., bought a stake valued at $800m in American International Group (AIG) in the first quarter of 2015. This is his latest wager on the insurance industry, reports Bloomberg.

Paulson’s purchase of at least 14.6 million shares comes as AIG’s CEO Peter Hancock is redeeming high cost debt and increasing the repurchase of shares, which trade for less than three-quarters of book value. In late April, Hancock announced AIG would buy back an additional $3.5bn worth of stocks, after a $2.2bn repurchase in the first four months of the year.

According to filings, Paulson & Co. also raised its stake in T-Mobile US Inc. to $756m, sold its stakes in Equinix Inc., Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. and Gold Fields Ltd. and reduced its stakes in Cablevision Systems Corp., Sprint Corp. and Puerto Rico’s biggest bank, Popular Inc.

Paulson’s hedge funds gained in April after successful wagers on energy, mergers and Greek banks, Bloomberg says. Its merger strategy, which comprises more than half of the firm’s $19.5bn, rose 6.1% from January to April. A leveraged version went up 13%.

Paulson’s joint reinsurance venture, PacRe, posted an investm......................

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