BOSTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund investor
William Ackman said on Thursday that he expects to see market
gains next year but warned there could be volatility in the
months ahead as the coronavirus continues to take its toll.
Ackman told investors that he's "happy to be long" on equity
exposure and is "bullish" on 2021 at a time of low interest
rates, more expected stimulus and infrastructure spending.
But he also warned that dark days lie ahead as the United
States passed a milestone with 250,000 coronavirus deaths. While
he is generally optimistic, the investor said it is "prudent" to
insure his portfolio now amid a range of uncertainties that can
lead to market volatility.
Ackman put on a new hedge -- roughly one third the size of
the one he put on earlier this year -- as corporate credit
spreads are very tight. On a conference call with investors he
said he likes the companies he's invested in now and expects
Lowe's, Starbucks, Hilton Worldwide Holdings
and Chipotle to perform well after an end to the
Pershing Square Capital Management, Ackman's $12.5 billion
firm, boasts one of the industry's best records this year with a
return of roughly 55%. Ackman said it is the 16-year old firm's
best year ever on a gross basis.
He said that he has agreed to hire a woman to his all-male
investment team but declined to name her, saying only that she
performed extremely well on the tests he gives to candidates and
is expected to join late next year.
He also declined to offer any new details about his blank
check company Tontine, short of saying that the extensive
shareholder list will be an asset in finding a target.
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)