- Typically dominated by individual investors seeking a yield, closed-end debt funds have become the latest hedge fund playground as they seek to profit from assets trading at their widest discounts to NAV since the financial crisis.
- Behind the discounts was last year's big jump in interest rates which sent the value of fixed-income assets way down. Too far down, say the hedge funds.
- Boaz Weinstein's Saba Fund (known among other things for landing the London Whale), has amassed $847.3M in publicly traded funds since beginning to buy last year. Pine River Capital has loaded up on nearly $160M worth.
- Among Weinstein's purchases are $75.7M of Pimco's Dynamic Credit Income Fund (PCI +1%) - making Saba the largest holder - $78.5M of BlackRock's Corporate High Yield Fund (HYT +0.3%), and $41.5M of BlackRock's Credit Allocation Income Trust (BTZ +0.6%).
- Also a large owner of PCI and HYT, Pine River has 1.4M shares of DoubleLine's Income Solutions Fund (DSL +1.6%).
- The magnitude of these purchases is unprecedented, says Warren Antler who specializes in CEF analysis at AST Fund Solutions.