Dalio Fund Opens $300 Million Bet Against Italy Energy Firm

Updated on
  • Firm adds to wagers against Italy companies, including banks
  • Total bets against Italian companies exceed $1.4 billion

Eni CEO Says Bridgewater Short Is 'No Big Issue'

Bridgewater Associates is adding to its billion-dollar short against the Italian economy. The world’s largest hedge fund disclosed a $300 million bet against Eni SpA, Italy’s oil and gas giant, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Bloomberg previously reported that Ray Dalio’s firm had wagered more than $1.1 billion against shares of six Italian financial institutions and two other companies. This latest bet is the hedge fund’s second-largest against an Italian company, trailing only the $310 million against Enel SpA, the country’s largest utility.

Eni’s majority holder is the Italian government via state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA and the Ministry of Economy. The public involvement also is reflected in the government’s role in appointing the chief executive officer. Current CEO Claudio Descalzi has been at the helm since 2014 and was reconfirmed this year.

Eni shares were little changed in Milan trading, down 0.1 percent to EU13.87 at 10:46 a.m.
Analysts at Mediobanca SpA rate the stock a buy and say it is trading at a 20 percent discount to competitors.

“As Eni underperformed peers over the last 12 months, we think it would re-rate the most should the oil price move towards $60,” analyst Alessandro Pozzi said in an interview on Oct. 1 in London. Crude oil has been trading around $50 a barrel.

A spokeswoman for Eni declined to comment. Ryan FitzGibbon, a spokeswoman for Westport, Connecticut-based Bridgewater, also declined to comment.

— With assistance by Maria Ermakova

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