In short position disclosures from the U.K., Odey Asset Management disclosed a short in Talktalk Telecom Group PLC (LON:TALK) last week. The telecom company is involved in the provision of fixed line communications. This is a unique bet as no other fund is known to short in this company. The shares are down 3.5 percent for the year. Talktalk Telecom Group PLC (LON:TALK) is the U.K.’s fourth largest broadband service provider, in terms of client base. A bearish bet on a similar company, British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (OTCMKTS:BSYBY) (LON:BSY), was made by Lansdowne Partners as we reported in March.
In other updates, Marshall Wace opened a new short in FirstGroup plc (LON:FGP) towards the end of May which now amounts to 0.59 percent of the transportation company. FirstGroup plc (LON:FGP) was previously shorted by Paul Singer’s Elliott Management and macro fund TT International. Both funds covered their shorts in past months. FirstGroup plc (LON:FGP) is the infamous bus service that was hit by the cockroach invasion in one of its New York bound Greyhounds. Share price has tumbled some 60 percent YTD, out of which 27 percent was lost as June kicked in, so Marshall Wace took an apt time to bet against the transportation company.
Marshall Wace Bets Against Major Gold Miner
Marshall Wace also increased its short in Randgold Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ:GOLD) (LON:RRS) which is now down 23 percent for this year. Gold has gained in the past few weeks, so the hedge fund’s bet at this time means it expects the gold miner to lose further. Randgold Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ:GOLD) (LON:RRS) has been pitched by analysts as one miner which has potential to fare better than its peers amid the slowdown in mining sector and headwinds surrounding gold. SVM Asset Management disclosed a short bet in Avocet Mining plc (LON:AVM) in the first week of June. Avocet is also involved in the mining of gold in West Africa, Avocet’s shares have been brutally punished in this year and in last year. With stock down 86 percent YTD, Avocet’s market cap has tumbled from 139 million to a mere 19.56 million pounds.
Vesuvius PLC (LON:CKSN) has also gained some attention from shortsellers. The company provides ceramic products to the global steel and foundry industry. Despite of the exposure to steel, Vesuvius PLC (LON:CKSN) has risen 25 percent YTD. Citadel Advsiors and TT International are among the hedge funds betting against the company.