Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Quadruples Shorts on European Union StocksBy and
Bet against oil company Total is largest shown by hedge fund
New positions target BNP Paribas, ING Groep, Banco Santander
In just one week Bridgewater, the world’s biggest hedge fund firm, more than quadrupled how much it’s betting against European Union companies.
The firm, run by Ray Dalio, has at least $13.1 billion in shorts, or wagers that a stock will fall, according to EU regulatory filings. That’s up from the $3.2 billion it had disclosed on Feb. 1. It also more than doubled the number stocks it’s shorting to 44 from 20.
Bridgewater in the past week put more than $1 billion to work betting against oil giant Total SA -- making it the firm’s largest disclosed short holding in Europe. The energy titan has been riding out the biggest industry downturn in a generation by selling assets and cutting spending. The hedge fund also started a bearish Airbus SE position, investing about $381 million against the aircraft maker. Among other short positions, it disclosed wagers against BNP Paribas SA, ING Groep NV and Banco Santander SA.
Since the Feb. 8 regulatory filings, Total has fallen about 1 percent as markets slumped. Airbus, BNP Paribas, ING Groep and Banco Santander have sunk roughly 2 percent.
Bridgewater has been building positions against Italian banks and insurers ahead of the March election, which is widely expected to produce no clear winner, hindering the country’s ability to produce economic reforms.
A spokeswoman for the Westport, Connecticut-based firm that oversees about $160 billion declined to comment. Spokesmen for Airbus and ING Groep declined to comment. Calls to Total, BNP Paribas and Banco Santander weren’t immediately returned.