Hedge fund Bridgewater with mega bet on falling European stock markets

Bridgewater appears to be pessimistic about the economic prospects for Europe. The hedge fund launched bets on falling European stocks worth at least $6.7 billion, data provider Breakout Point said on Thursday evening. No other asset manager speculates nearly as aggressively in this direction. At the beginning of 2018 and 2020, Bridgewater also bet heavily on a bear market.

From the asset manager’s mandatory publications, it can be concluded that he has currently “shorted” shares in 21 European companies, Breakout Point said. In so-called short selling, investors borrow shares in order to sell them immediately. They are betting that they can stock up on the papers more cheaply by the return date. They pocket the difference as profit.

According to Breakout Point, insurers Allianz and Axa are among those on the list of stocks Bridgewater expects to fall. In addition, there would be banks like Santander, BBVA, ING or Intesa Sanpaolo. The largest volume would be bets on a setback for the shares of the chip supplier ASML, the energy group TotalEnergies and the pharmaceutical company Sanofy.

According to European regulations, investors must declare if they make short sales of more than 0.5 percent of a company’s total capital. The actual size of Bridgewater’s bets could be even larger. However, it remained unclear to what extent the short sales are hedging transactions for other investments. The hedge fund could not immediately be reached for comment.

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