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UK NewsBig Short investor targets Standard Chartered and HSBC in bid to cash in on Hong Kong crisis

01:45  15 september  2019
01:45  15 september  2019 Source:   thisismoney.co.uk

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The investor made famous by the Hollywood movie The Big Short has placed bets against British banks Standard Chartered and HSBC in a bid to Eisman said: ‘The new risk in the marketplace is Hong Kong . There are tremendous fears that this will not end well, that it will end in violence, and that

UK banking regulator asked HSBC , Standard Chartered and other lenders to cancel planned payments Pedestrians walk past an HSBC branch in Central district, Hong Kong , China, on February 19 HSBC and Standard Chartered said on Wednesday they would cancel their dividends and not

The investor made famous by the Hollywood movie The Big Short has placed bets against British banks Standard Chartered and HSBC in a bid to cash in on the Hong Kong crisis.

Steve Eisman, who was played by the actor Steve Carell in the Oscar-winning film about the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, was one of several managers who ran a fund at Neuberger Berman that ‘shorted’ Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Barclays.

But now he is in charge of his own fund at the New York firm, and is targeting two more British banks – Standard Chartered and HSBC – both of which have a focus on Hong Kong.

Big Short investor targets Standard Chartered and HSBC in bid to cash in on Hong Kong crisis © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The investor made famous by the Hollywood movie The Big Short has placed bets against British banks Standard Chartered and HSBC in a bid to cash in on the Hong Kong crisis

Eisman, who made his name betting that the US housing market would crash just before the financial crisis of 2008-9, said both were bets on the ‘risks in Hong Kong’ and rising violence in the former British colony.

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A number of Hong Kong banks including HSBC and Standard Chartered have rushed to introduce measures to relieve the pressure on small and medium-sized businesses Coronavirus: Hong Kong will close borders to visitors and plans to ban sale of alcohol at bars in bid to stop spread of infections.

Banks are trying to beef up dollar cash positions. Meanwhile, yields on big chunks of Chinese debt have shot to over 15% as investors unload, increasing the cost of borrowing Only about billion, or 0.5%, are in cash deposits, mostly at commercial banks , according to HSBC Holdings Plc analysts.

His newly formed Absolute Alpha Fund has taken out a short position worth about £1.4 million against Standard Chartered, according to analysts at short-selling expert Breakout Point.

It is one of the fund’s largest short positions – a trading tactic where investors borrow shares from another for a fee, sell them, and hope to buy them back later at a lower price, pocketing the difference before they are returned to their original owner.

Standard Chartered is the only British company listed among the fund’s major positions. However, in a video update posted on the firm’s website earlier this month, Eisman also revealed that he was shorting HSBC.

Hong Kong has been shaken by huge anti-government protests in the past few months, triggered by a controversial extradition bill.

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The protests, which began peacefully, have escalated into violent clashes between protesters and police. Last month, Standard Chartered and HSBC both spoke out against the violence and took out newspaper adverts calling for a peaceful resolution.

Big Short investor targets Standard Chartered and HSBC in bid to cash in on Hong Kong crisis © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The protests, which began peacefully, have escalated into violent clashes between protesters and police

Eisman said: ‘The new risk in the marketplace is Hong Kong. There are tremendous fears that this will not end well, that it will end in violence, and that will have bad ramifications for the global economy.’

His fund’s short position in Standard Chartered is far larger than that his previous fund took out against the other trio of British banks. Together, those three positions were worth just £1.1 million.

Eisman, who was given the name Mark Baum in the 2015 movie, also revealed he had raised his bets against other UK banks because of the rising risk of a No Deal Brexit.

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Hong Kong ’s first digital bank offers 6 per cent rate to outdo HSBC in warning shot to new competition. Standard Chartered , HSBC and BOC Hong Kong pay 1.9 per cent to 2.3 per cent for the same deposit maturity.

Price to Cash Flow MRQ. Hong Kong ’s first digital bank offers 6 per cent rate to outdo HSBC in warning shot to new competition. HSBC and Santander to refund customers after breaking CMA rules. Written by . Alex Hamilton.

He said he doesn’t own shares in a European bank because of the state of the economy.

‘When European bank analysts come to see me, there’s a contest of who can convince Steve Eisman to buy [shares in] one European bank,’ he said. ‘No one’s won that contest yet. The way things are going it’s not going to happen for a while.’

Neuberger Berman declined to comment further.

SHORT-SELLERS BET £100 MILLION THAT CENTRICA WILL FALL

HEDGE funds are betting a record £100 million that shares in British Gas owner Centrica will continue to cool.

A disastrous year has seen chief executive Iain Conn step down after failing to stop customers switching suppliers, causing the share price to lose half its value. It closed on Friday at 76p.

Centrica narrowly avoided relegation from the FTSE 100 earlier this month but looks to be at risk at the next reshuffle in three months’ time. If it does drop out, investors betting against the shares will have cashed in.

Short positions – a way of making money if a share price falls rather than rises – in Centrica are at a record high, data from the Financial Conduct Authority reveals. More than 2.2 per cent of the shares – worth almost £100 million – are now in the hands of two short-sellers, London hedge fund Marshall Wace and investment giant BlackRock.

Marshall Wace, founded by billionaires Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, cranked up its bet, doubling the position in just two months.

Thousands of private investors hold Centrica shares bought when British Gas was privatised in 1986.

British Gas, still Britain’s largest energy supplier with 7.2 million customers, faces new competition. OVO Energy has broken into the ‘Big Six’ following a £500 million deal to buy SSE’s retail division.

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