Janus' Gross says Valeant based on leverage, financial engineering

Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:26pm EDT
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By Jennifer Ablan

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - The business model of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, target of a securities investigation and under scrutiny for its pricing and accounting practices, "was based on leverage and financial engineering," fund manager Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group Inc said Tuesday.

In a tweet on the Janus Capital stream, Gross said: "Valeant biz model was based on leverage and fincl. engineering. At the extreme it mirrors global monetary policy and their economies."

Valeant was not immediately available for comment.

Gross said last week on Bloomberg TV that he sold the Valeant bonds that were inherited in a Janus client account he was overseeing.

"We sold the bonds the first day that the problems arrived - and that was three months ago," Gross said.

Gross, manager of the $1.3 billion Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, said in a Janus video on Tuesday that Federal Reserve officials appear to be focused on keeping the stock market up and hoping that generates a "wealth effect."

"I think central banks have gone too far...certainly the ECB (European Central Bank) and the BoJ (Bank of Japan) have gone into negative territory and I think there are long-term consequences for that," Gross said.

"The closeness to the zero-bound (interest rates) basically robs savers of their ability to earn money and threatens business models, such as insurance companies and banks in terms of their margin - and certainly, pension funds in terms of their ability to earn money." (Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)