David Einhorn’s $7.7 billion hedge fund Greenlight Capital Inc. disclosed a short position of 4.4 percent in the shares of Daily Mail and General Trust Plc, which publishes the U.K.’s second-biggest selling daily newspaper.
Greenlight’s bearish bet on London-based Daily Mail and General Trust, disclosed today on the website of the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority, was the biggest short position revealed by any hedge fund against a U.K. company under rules that took effect last week.
European Union rules requiring investors to publicly disclose net short positions of more than 0.5 percent of a company’s issued share capital came into force Nov. 1. The rules also require hedge funds and other investors to notify regulators of any bearish bets exceeding 0.2 percent.
Circulation at the Daily Mail fell 6.2 percent to 1.9 million readers a day in September from the same month a year earlier, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations cited by the Guardian Newspaper. The Daily Mail remains the U.K.’s second-most read paper behind News Corp.’s the Sun, which had a circulation of 2.4 million readers in September. Daily Mail’s shares have climbed 21 percent this year.
In a short sale, traders bet stock prices will fall by borrowing shares, hoping to repay them at a lower price and pocket the difference.
Man Group Plc, the world’s biggest publicly traded hedge-fund manager, was also a target of short sellers after its stock fell 40 percent over the past year. Landsdowne Partners LP, the biggest European hedge fund that invests in stocks, took a 1.7 percent short stake on London-based Man Group and Cliff Asness’s AQR Capital Management LLC is betting against 1.1 percent of the shares, according to the FSA’s website.
Spokespeople for New York-based Greenlight, London-based Landsdowne and Greenwich, Connecticut-based AQR declined to comment.