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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Paulson addresses disastrous Sino-Forest bet


Read? Understanding Stock Market Risks - Financial Fraud Risk is real! (2)

Even the best investor like John Paulson also kena conned.

BOSTON - John Paulson told investors on Friday he was 'disappointed' his bet on a Chinese forest company cost them over US$100 million in losses.

After staying mum for weeks on his disastrous bet on Sino-Forest, a forestry company that lost much of its value in the wake of a critical report from a short-seller, Mr Paulson finally broke his silence in a four-page letter. In the letter, he described the fund's initial interest in Sino-Forest and promised to watch the situation.

Mr Paulson's flagship Advantage Fund, the biggest in his US$37 billion empire, has lost 9.7 per cent this month thanks in part to Sino-Forest's crash. The loss turns the Advantage Fund into one of the industry's biggest single losers, with a 15.5 per cent decline for the year, said investors in the fund who were not allowed to discuss performance publicly.

While some longtime Paulson investors said on Friday they were angry with the billionaire manager, accusing him of having gotten too big to react quickly to disappointing market news, Mr Paulson said he was suffering right along with them.

'As the largest investors in the Paulson Advantage strategy, the Paulson partners share your disappointment in this outcome,' the letter said.
AR Magazine first reported the news on Friday.

A week ago, Mr Paulson liquidated his 14.1 per cent stake in Sino-Forest some two weeks after short-seller Carson Block and his Muddy Waters LLC research firm accused Sino-Forest of exaggerating its forest assets.

While some of Mr Paulson's funds are performing poorly, there are also some strong performers. His US$3 billion Recovery Fund is up 4.22 per cent, thanks in part to a winning bet on privately held bank OneWest. -- REUTERS

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