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3 Jan 2007

Hedge Fund Provider Announces Stong Growth With New Wall Street Technology

Hedge fund provider LiquidPoint LLC, announced that it has far exceeded 2006 performance projections, ncluding huge increases in both options transaction volume and number of end-users.

Anthony Saliba, CEO of LiquidPoint stated, “LiquidPoint’s monthly contract volume in December was up over 100% compared to the same time frame last year. Our 2006 volume was 78% greater than last year. With the onset of penny markets, we have every reason to expect this trend to continue in 2007.”

LiquidPoint’s technology affiliate, First Traders Analytical Solutions (FTAS), delivered several high-impact enhancements in 2006. Among the new features delivered, the focus was on specific work flow efficiencies for Wall Street firms. Daniel Rooney, LiquidPoint’s Director of Sales, said,” Our user community increased in 2006 as we substantially increased our presence on the trading floor at key Wall Street firms.”

First Traders provides software products and services for the electronic options trading marketplace to Wall Street firms, executing brokerage firms, hedge funds, proprietary trading firms, the retail trading community and the U.S. options exchanges.

LiquidPoint’s client base includes hedge funds, institutions, prime brokers and their customers and other professional options traders. The HEAT™ System is also available through select prime brokers.

“These recent enhancements are satisfying a strong demand within this expanding industry, contributing to our firm’s growth. As the exchanges race to differentiate themselves. LiquidPoint and FTAS are working to ensure their customers have all they need to take advantage of industry changes and new opportunities.” Mr. Rooney said in a statement.

Man Investments Supports Hedge Fund World Middle East Awards

Man Investments is supporting this year's Hedge Funds World Middle East Awards. Man said, "We believe that they will play a critical role in identifying the future stars of the region's hedge fund industry."

Awards will be made in six categories, including for the year's best hedge fund distributor and the most innovative project. The awards are being held as part of the Hedge Funds World Middle East conference, which runs from 5-8 March 2007 in Dubai.

The winners and finalists will receive their well deserved recognition and accolade at the Hedge Funds Awards ceremony and gala dinner at 19:00 – March 6th at The Events Arena, The Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. The deadline to enter the awards is the 12th of January.

For more information on the event see,

Predictions for Hedge Funds in the New Year

"A hedge-fund manager will buy Aston Martin." That's the forecast according to Bloomberg columnist Matthew Lynn. Pretty bold, but you never know, he also says that "farming will become a great way (for hedge funds) to get rich"

"High oil prices are causing a surge of interest in alternative energy, with ethanol leading the way. Making fuel from corn or other grains, however, means digging up a lot of fields....It has been more than a century since farmland was the basis for a financial aristocracy, but every asset comes back into its own if you just wait long enough. JPMorgan Chase & Co. already rates corn among the best investments for 2007.... Expect to hear the hedge-fund manager beside you in the bar boasting about how he has just snapped up 1 million acres in Ukraine."

And about the Aston Martin, he had this to say, "Ford Motor Co. has already put its world-beating luxury-car unit Aston Martin up for sale. The hedge funds are awash with money and have been snapping up all sorts of interesting companies. London-based RAB Capital Plc, for example, just took control of the A1 Grand Prix motor-racing business....London's loaded hedgehogs love to drive around in their shiny new Astons. What better synergies could there be than owning the company that makes them? You can sell it to the investors as a great deal and have fun messing around in the factory at the same time."

Activist Hedge Fund calls for sale Of Sunpower.

Activist hedge fund Chapman Capital LLC announced that it has notified the Board of Directors of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation of its recommendation that Cypress reorganize via a split-off and subsequent going-private LBO transaction.

A letter from Robert L. Chapman, Jr., Managing Member of Chapman Capital, has been sent to Cypress's full Board of Directors, accused the company of under performing and called for the launch of a large-scale "corporate reorganization" that would involve splitting from Sunpower Corp, in which Cypress has held a major stake insince 2002.

The letter, calling for the sale of SunPower, says "Our long term investment in Cypress was made following passive participation in over a dozen recent conference calls and presentations, on top of countless inquiries to semiconductor and solar cell industry experts. In fact, it is our view that Cypress may be experiencing a slight, short-term order shortfall in line with others in its industry, a condition with which we are comfortable given our long term perspective."

The letter, signed by Chapman Capital's managing member Robert Chapman, Jr., claimed that since it owns 1.5 million common shares in Cypress, its financial interest the company now exceeds CEO Thurman J. Rodgers' own, Chapman cited what he called the "needlessly protracted undervaluation placed by the market on Cypress's core semiconductor operations" as fueling the hedge fund's call for a corporate reorganization that would separate Cypress' core semiconductor operations from its controlling stake in SunPower.

Regarding Chapman Capital's growing concerns regarding relatively immaterial Cypress share ownership by its Board of Directors, Mr. Chapman stated further, "Cypress's core semiconductor business, which Mr. Rodgers founded nearly 25 years ago, deserves a much higher valuation than what it was ascribed the day Mr. Rodgers took it public two decades ago. Mr. Rodgers has stated publicly, 'you and I are going to make as much money as fast as we can on this.' Cypress's Board of Directors, despite their insignificant percentage ownership of Cypress, should expect that we are going to hold Mr. Rodgers to this promise."

Chapman Capital L.L.C. is a Los Angeles, CA based hedge fund focusing on takeover and turnaround investing. The firm currently manages over $300 million as the registered investment advisor to Chap-Cap Partners II Master Fund, Ltd. and Chap-Cap Activist Partners Master Fund, Ltd., the combined owners of approximately 1% of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation's common shares.

Hedge Funds Voted Down

US hedge funds Ramius Capital Group and Moon Capital Management voted with a 47.6% share to remove the directors of South Korean online game developer Gravity Co. Ltd.

Gravity's other shareholders however, rejected the proposal to remove Chief Executive Il Young Ryu and Seung Taik Baik, the company's chief operating officer.

A spokesman for the hedge funds said that the majority of "disinterested" shareholders voted to remove the executives. "These results demonstrate that Gravity's minority shareholders clearly and overwhelmingly demand the immediate removal of Mr. Ryu and Mr. Baik as directors," Mark Mitchell, Ramius Capital's executive managing director, said in a statement.

The hedge funds had cited "consistent detrimental actions against shareholders by the executives and the board through various related-party transactions with companies that clearly have conflicts of interest with the company." The hedge funds also questioned the executives' decision to acquire another gaming company, Emile Chronicle Online, without seeking an independent valuation.

In a statement from Gravity, the management "urges the two hedge funds, Ramius and Moon, to offer constructive criticism and positive encouragement as responsible shareholders."