Cooperman Not Buying Cuba; Still Likes Atlas Energy

Leon Cooperman, the CEO of Omega Advisors is not interested in making any investment in Cuba as more opportunities will continue to exist in developed countries.

During an interview with CNBC’s Fast Money Half Time Report, Cooperman said investing in Cuba is “very far down on my list.”

Cooperman and Mario Gabelli together with their wives went to Cuba for a humanitarian mission six months ago. Although he has reservations when it comes to investing in Cuba, he believed that the country has a lot to gain from the latest move of President Barack Obama in improving the relationship between the U.S. government and the Cuban government.

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The United States government started its negotiations to normalize its diplomatic relations with the Cuban government and to open a U.S. embassy in the country.  Both countries have an antagonistic relationship for decades after the U.S. imposed an embargo against Cuba in 1960 when Fidel Castro overthrew the Batista regime.

Cooperman is hoping that the United States will succeed in its efforts to turnaround Cuba. During a press conference, President Obama discussed a wide range of actions including easing travel restrictions.

Herzfeld fully prepared to invest in Cuba

On the other hand, Thomas Herzfeld of Herzfeld Carribean Basin Fund, Inc (NASDAQ:CUBA) stated that he is “fully prepared” to invest in Cuba once the United States established a diplomatic relations with the island.

Hertzfeld said, “With the resumption of trade in Cuba on the way, there will be a boom in that country.” He added that the economies of other Latin American countries will also benefit from a more open relationship between the U.S. the Cuban government.

Cooperman’s view on several stocks

Meanwhile, Cooperman also told CNBC that he has been increasing his stake in Atlas Energy LP (NYSE:ATLS). According to him, Omega Advisors has about 12% stake in Atlas. The stock climbed more than 14% to $29.05 per share today.

Cooperman also said that Omega Advisors still owns a small stake in SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE:RD), but it is not adding its position in the company citing the reason that it has a survival issue. The stock jumped more than 16% to $1.99 per share.

During the interview, Cooperman also stated that Omega Advisors own a small stake in Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN). He believed that Groupon’s underlying asset value is substantially higher than its trading price.

He said, “The stock seems mis-priced. We think it’s worth 40-50 percent more than it’s [currently] trading and [its] fundamental business is improving.” Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) gained more than 5% to $7.19 per share.