Odey Asset Management and BlackRock Inc. are among money managers standing to gain from betting against Banco Popular Espanol SA after the bank’s shares plummeted as much as 26 percent on Thursday.
The Spanish lender triggered the selloff by saying it will raise about 2.5 billion euros ($2.79 billion) selling new shares because it needs to write down more distressed real estate assets and repair its balance sheet.
Crispin Odey’s London-based hedge fund has the biggest short against the bank. Its position covers 20.4 million shares, or 0.93 percent of stock outstanding, according to the Spanish regulator. BlackRock is short 13.2 million shares, while London-based hedge fund Oceanwood Capital Management LLP’s bet covers 18.4 million and AQR Capital Management is short 15.1 million.
Spokeswomen for Odey and BlackRock declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Oceanwood did not immediately comment while AQR did not immediately answer an e-mail seeking comment, sent out of hours.
Hedge funds short stock by borrowing shares and selling them on the market with the aim of buying them back at a lower price and pocketing the difference. Bets against the Spanish lender account for 6.5 percent of its 2.2 billion shares outstanding, according to Markit Ltd. data.
Popular will issue 2 billion new shares at 1.25 euros each, compared with its closing price yesterday of 2.356 euros, the Madrid-based lender said in a filing to regulators.
Popular pared losses to trade down 20 percent to 1.893 euros at 11.35 a.m. in Madrid. The bank is down 38 percent this year.