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Third Point's Loeb owns FedEx stock, bullish on Japan: CNBC

Daniel Loeb, CEO, Third Point LLC, participates in the "Financial Firms: Past, Present and Future" panel at the 2010 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 27, 2010. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Activist investor Dan Loeb, founder of hedge fund Third Point LLC, said Tuesday that his investment firm owns shares of FedEx Corp (FDX) and remains bullish on Japan.

Loeb, whose hedge fund oversees $13 billion, said in an interview at a Dealbook conference, shown on CNBC television, that he met with FedEx chief executive Fred Smith recently.

Shares in FedEx were up 2.2 percent at $135.43 in morning trading following Loeb's comments.

Loeb reiterated his bullish views on the Japanese economy, adding that the hedge fund's investment in Sony Corp <6758.T> had also been a bet on growth policies being pursued by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

"We remain very bullish on Japan," Loeb said.

Loeb said that he has met twice with Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai and that his firm has had a "very good relationship" with the company. He said the company will continue to benefit from the weakness in Japan's yen currency.

Loeb has been one of the most vocal hedge fund managers on opportunities to invest in Japan in the past year.

He also said that his bet on nutritional supplements company Herbalife (HLF) was not an instance of "pumping and dumping" a stock. Loeb took a stake after hedge fund manager William Ackman said the company was a pyramid scheme and had a "short" bet against its shares. Loeb said those accusations were unfounded.

Loeb, who said that he bought shares in Herbalife when they were trading at around $28 per share and wrote a letter to his investors that said he expected the stock to rise to between $55 and $70 per share, added that he sold his stake when shares touched $44 per share several weeks later.

"That to us is a gift. We decided to take the money and run. So there was no pump and dump," Loeb said.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione and Katya Wachtel; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Leslie Gevirtz)