Third Point’s Loeb sees energy credit opportunity
NEW YORK (Bloomberg) — Hedge fund manager Dan Loeb said he's looking for opportunities in energy-related debt after oil prices resumed their decline.
“Energy is presenting some very interesting opportunities in credit right now,” Loeb said in a conference call discussing results at Third Point Reinsurance Ltd, the Bermuda-based reinsurer where he oversees investments. “So we are looking at that.”
Loeb said he has mostly steered clear of energy recently, sidestepping a second plunge in oil prices that hurt investors who were “suckered in”. He said in February that money managers raising funds to capitalise on energy distress might be disappointed.
Markets have been volatile since then. Oil prices have fallen by 25 per cent since the end of June, wiping out a second-quarter rally. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.8 per cent Thursday to $44.80 at 4.42pm in New York, less than half its 2014 peak.
“We're looking for it to form a bottom, and energy won't be permanently at this level,” he said. “We don't have meaningful exposure right now.”
Third Point Re said last week that second-quarter net income fell by half to $15.7 million. The company has been relying on Loeb's investing acumen as insurance operations have been pressured.
The Third Point hedge fund produced a 1.7 per cent return in the second quarter while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 0.2 per cent. The fund returned 4.8 per cent this year through June 30. Loeb said that structured credit contributed almost half the fund's gains in 2015.
The money manager has increased bets that securities will decline as he seeks to cope with market volatility.
“Increased short exposure in 2015 has helped the portfolio,” including in June, he said. “We continue to increase this exposure through both hedges and single-name equity positions.”
Loeb was asked on the call about China, where economic growth has slowed and the stock market has tumbled in recent weeks. The hedge fund manager said he has some exposure to the nation through an investment in Yum! Brands, the fast-food company that owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
China has “a period of difficulty to go through for the next few months,” Loeb said. “We're certainly not counting China out, and we're not expecting any kind of major crisis there.”