Speculators build $16 billion bearish bet on Europe’s banks
Short sellers had amassed bearish positions worth more than $15.7 billion against European banks by Tuesday, after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank sparked contagion fears and sent shares plunging, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Big hedge funds including Marshall Wace and Odey Asset Management added to short positions against Europe’s banks, regulatory filings seen by Reuters and data from Breakout Point showed.
Short selling involves borrowing shares from a broker to sell them, with the expectation of buying them back at a lower price to make a profit.
Odey Asset Management and Marshall Wace declined to comment.
Marshall Wace held the largest disclosed number of short positions against banks, public filings from Austria, Italy, Sweden, Britain, Spain and Poland analysed by Breakout Point showed.
The banks included BAWAG (BAWG.VI), FinecoBank (FBK.MI), Handelsbanken (SHBa.ST), CaixaBank (CABK.MC), NatWest Group (NWG.L) and PKO Bank Polski (PKO.WA).
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