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Bakkt raises $182.5M; Bank Leumi USA looking to go public


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Bakkt raises $182.5M; Bank Leumi USA looking to go public

Hedge fund managers looking to launch in 2019 will have a hard time raising money amid investor disappointment with the industry after most companies failed to raise much money in the years following the financial crisis, Bloomberg News reports. Ilana Weinstein, founder and CEO of hedge fund recruiter IDW Group, said it will be "borderline crazy" to start a hedge fund given the risky environment unless a fund has "something differentiated to offer." Only a few hedge funds launching this year are expected to start with more than $500 million. Woodline Partners, which is slated to open in the third quarter, is the only one expected to open with more than $1 billion, sources said.

Meanwhile, D.E. Shaw & Co. LP is planning to offer some of its equity risk premia strategies to investors early this year, sources told Financial Times. Risk premia, also called factor investing, are certain investment characteristics that tend to generate above-market returns over time. The hedge fund group introduced these risk premia strategies into its tactical asset allocation fund Orienteer back in August 2018, according to the report.

In banking news, Bank Leumi USA is planning to go public at a valuation of more than $1 billion, Reuters reports, citing Israeli newspaper and website Calcalist. The bank is reportedly waiting for the market environment to improve before moving forward.

And digital assets trading and conversion platform Bakkt has raised $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors during its first round of funding. The company, launched by New York Stock Exchange parent Intercontinental Exchange Inc., plans to physically deliver bitcoin futures contracts.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Syndicate Bank, SBI Life sign bancassurance deal; IAG boosts catastrophe cover

Europe: No deal for NordLB, Helaba; ex-Deutsche Börse CEO settles; Carige administrators

Middle East & Africa: Saudi's NCB, Riyad Bank seek merger advisers; Britam expects lower FY'18 result

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

As bank M&A closing time drops, some CRA concerns rise: Community groups are worried that the reduced closing time for bank M&A limits the public's ability to protest transactions that have concerns related to the Community Reinvestment Act.

Regulators offer community banks relief, but not all will bite: A new proposed "community bank leverage ratio" could simplify reporting for certain U.S. institutions with under $10 billion in assets, but not all banks will take advantage of the option.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.26% to 25,064.36.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.61% to 6,693.36, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.03% to 900.95.

On the macro front

The Bureau of Economic Analysis' motor vehicle sales report, the Mortgage Bankers' Association's mortgage applications report, the Automated Data Processing's employment report, the jobless claims report, the Institute For Supply Management's manufacturing index, the construction spending report, the Federal Reserve balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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