Dutch regulator ‘inadvertently’ posts list of Soros's short bets
Hedge funds take short positions on assets when they expect their price to fall, in effect betting against the stock.
Hundreds of the billionaire investor’s short positions dating back to 2012 were made public on the regulator’s website, due to “human error,” according to the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).
The short positions, bets on a stock declining, were “between 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent,” of shares outstanding in the companies shorted, said an AFM spokesman.
Earlier this week, the website revealed Soros bet against Dutch ING Group, taking a short position of 0.3 percent in it in June 2016. The leaked information was quickly erased once the error was discovered.
The watchdog also unveiled the secretive Medallion Fund, run by Renaissance Technologies for its employees, shorted a number of small cap Dutch stocks. The fund made an annualized return of over 70 percent in the 20 years from 1994 to 2014.
“On the afternoon of Tuesday 24 January, after the close of the market, the AFM inadvertently published a list on its website that included net short positions of less than 0.5 percent instead of publishing the daily list of net short positions of 0.5 percent and higher,” the AFM said in a statement on its website.
“The AFM corrected this mistake and posted the correct list of net short positions of 0.5 percent and higher on the morning of Wednesday, 25 January. We regret this error,” the watchdog added.
Short trading commonly involves borrowing the stock of a company from an investor, selling it and then buying it back at a later date for a lower price, making a profit out of the difference.
Under EU regulations, hedge funds are obliged to disclose to the public short positions of over 0.5 percent in a particular company's stock, while positions of over 0.2 percent must be disclosed only to the domestic markets regulator, updated for each additional 0.1 percent.