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Billions in Secret Derivatives at Center of Archegos Blowup

  • Archegos used equity swaps or CFDs, people familiar have said
  • Instruments are popular with hedge funds, allow non-disclosure
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The forced liquidation of more than $20 billion in holdings linked to Bill Hwang’s investment firm is drawing attention to the covert financial instruments he used to build large stakes in companies.

Much of the leverage used by Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management was provided by banks including Nomura Holdings Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG through swaps and so-called contracts-for-difference, according to people with direct knowledge of the deals. It means Archegos may never actually have owned most of the underlying securities -- if any at all.