Italy’s favorite short position Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BIT:BMPS) fell more than 10 percent yesteraday, triggering a shortselling ban enforced by Italy’s regulatory authority CONSOB which expired as markets closed today.
In other short selling news in European equities, Marshall Wace added to its short position which is now more than 1 percent of the Monte Paschi’s outstanding shares. Other bigwigs with a short position in the troubled bank are Odey Asset Management, Wellington Management and Egerton Capital. The stock closed down 2.7 percent today and is down 22.5 percent YTD.
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Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BIT:BMPS)’s 12 percent decline in yesterday’s trading came as news broke about its significant losses that were incurred in deposits in February. In the next couple of days we will know which funds juiced profits from their short bets in Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BIT:BMPS) and which ones added to their positions.
The turmoil in Italy’s banking sector adds to the ongoing political crisis; more than a month has passed since the elections and Italy has yet to decide on a government.
In other short disclosures across Europe, Steve Cohen’s S.A.C Capital is back in business. The fund’s global arm, S.A.C Global Investors placed a short bet in Germany’s Commerzbank AG (PINK:CRZBY) (ETR:CBK) (FRA:CBK). The short position is worth 0.5 percent of the shares. This is not insignificant for the second largest bank of Germany. Commerzbank has a market cap of slightly over
While only two hedge funds have disclosed a short position in the bank (Marshall Wace LLP has a 1.32% short position), it looks like this is on track to becoming a favorite short in Germany; the stock has lost 20 percent since Jan 1. Recently, Commerzbank AG (PINK:CRZBY) (ETR:CBK) (FRA:CBK) announced the sale of shares worth $3.3 billion to existing shareholders to payback the remaining bailout money it received in 2008. The bank has plans to pay back about 2.5 billion euros to Financial Market Stabilization Fund (SoFFin) and Allianz.
In the U.K., the only major movement in shortselling has been Marshall Wace reducing its short bet in its peer MAN GROUP PLC (LON:EMG) (PINK:MNGPF) to less than o.5 percent. Lansdowne Partners’ 1.8 percent short position holds steady, not to mention the U.K. based hedge fund keeps on increasing its short in Air Liquide (EPA:AI) in France. The firm now has increased its short to 0.82 percent of the company (as predicted). Lansdowne’s short bet in Air Liquide (EPA:AI) is now worth $244 million.
Jim Chanos has now covered his short in African Minerals Limited (LON:AMI), the stock declined sharply in March and this is when Chanos started covering the position, although a small allocation, this one closed profitably for Kynikos Associates.
The stock was down over 27 percent as of the end of March and continues to fall. Shorts from Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp in the U.K. are now appearing under a new name, Elliott Capital Advisors.
Stay tuned for more updates on short disclosures.