Andreas Halvorsen opened up a new short in KONE Corporation (HEL:KNEBV), a Finnish escalator maker. Kone Corp is one of the largest cap companies in Finland, with $21 billion in market value. While this may not sound like an interesting short to many, we are betting that this position of Viking is based on a bearish call on China, an area Viking is currently focusing on. KONE Corporation (HEL:KNEBV) has a significant amount of exposure in China, and very recently the company won a contract to furnish the escalators and elevators for China’s highest twin towers at Zhengzhou Eastern Center. The buildings are expected to complete construction in 2016, and the twin tower project belongs to China’s leading real estate developer, Greenland Group.
See all hedge fund short positions in Europe here.
Kone Corp Sensitive to China Slowdown
The demand Kone is seeing in China caused the company to raise its FY2013 forecast, which was overshadowed by reduced business in Europe. Kone has accelerated its growth in the last five years, hinging on the construction boom in China. Since China’s demand for Kone’s equipments was the cause of the company’s expansion, it can also cause a collapse in sales as credit crisis in China unfolds. Viking Global has a 0.6 percent short in KONE Corporation (HEL:KNEBV), according to the position disclosed on July 3.
Meanwhile Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) has essentially become a battleground for Tiger cubs only. All other hedge funds have either exited the short Nokia trade or reduced their positions to below threshold level, except for Brookside Capital which has a 0.52 percent short. Viking Global, Lone Pine Capital, Maverick Capital, Discovery Capital and Blue Ridge Capital, all are still shorting the cellphone maker. Short interest in Nokia, as measured by Finnish regulatory authority is now up to 8 percent of outstanding shares. In the past weeks, Lone Pine, Maverick and Discovery Capital have added to their short positions in Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V).
Crowded Hedge Fund Short Makes Profits
The crowded short bet of hedge funds in Finland, Outotec Oyj (HEL:OTE1V) is finally spicing up. Outotec Oyj (HEL:OTE1V) has exposure in mining and metallurgical industries and provides services to base metal miners and processors. Since the beginning of June, shares are down 6%, accounting for the company’s major slide YTD. Total short interest in Outotec is up to 10.7% of its outstanding shares, putting it very close to the top five most shorted stocks in Europe. The company is a short bet of Maverick Capital, Citadel, Dialectic Capital and also of Israel Englander’s Millennium Capital, who is rarely seen in short disclosures.