Germany is not immune to the problems of the eurozone and China, as weaker growth in its trade partners has affected the alpha of Europe just as it has slowed down other countries. Hedge funds increased short exposure across the board in German equities in the past weeks. Salzgitter AG (ETR:SZG), a German company involved in the steel industry, has declined 22 percent YTD and is turning profits for those who bet against the company at the right time. TT International opened a new short in Salzgitter AG (ETR:SZG) at the beginning of April while Marshall Wace started shorting the company at the end of March.
The steel sector is troubled due to weak demand from China and further slowdown is expected after the most recent GDP numbers from China were released. Other players in the steel industry that hedge funds have placed bearish bets on are SSAB AB (STO:SSAB-A) (STO:SSAB-B) and Kloeckner & Co SE (ETR:KCO) (FRA:KCO). The former is a favorite short position in Sweden while the latter is a short bet of five managers in Germany. Kloeckner & Co SE (ETR:KCO) (FRA:KCO)’s shares have fallen 10 percent month to date so short sellers are gaining from their bets on this one as well.
To see the full list of short positions from Germany, visit hedge fund short positions page.
Valinor Management initiated a short position in Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (ETR:HDD) (FRA:HDD) while Tiger cub Marble Arch Investments increased its short to 3.12 percent of the outstanding shares. Three other funds also have a short position in Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (ETR:HDD) (FRA:HDD), which is involved in the print media industry. Shorts in print media pop up frequently in Europe; Greenlight Capital has a short in Daily Mail and General Trust plc (LON:DMGT) (LON:DMGO) while Odey Asset Management has a short in Trinity Mirror plc (PINK:TNMRY) (LON:TNI), both newspaper publishers. Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), a publishing company, is a short of two big ones, Eton Park and Lansdowne Partners.
Both Marshall Wace and S.A.C Capital increased short exposure in Commerzbank AG (PINK:CRZBY) (ETR:CBK) in the past week. SAC upped its short from 0.50 in early April to 0.63 percent of the float, while Marshall Wace increased its short from 0.52 in February to 1.39 percent today.
Highbridge Capital increased short exposure in Drillisch AG (ETR:DRI) (FRA:DRI), a German telecom company while initiating two new shorts in DEUTZ AG (ETR:DEZ), a manufacturer of diesel engines, and Deutsche EuroShop AG (ETR:DEQ) (FRA:DEQ), a retailer.