Abrdn and Ashmore are among the 10 shorted UK firms, with BlackRock, GLG Partners and Point72 among the investment giants betting against the two asset managers.
Edinburgh-based Abrdn, which on August 9 announced a loss of £320m in the first half of the year, has seen its share price fall by around 29% since January as volatile markets weighed on revenues and profits in the asset management industry.
Abrdn chief executive Stephen Bird said its first-half results reflected “the challenging global economic environment and market turbulence”.
Short positions in Abrdn, which also saw assets under management fall year-on-year from £542bn to £508bn at the end of June, hit an all-time high in early August, representing 5.4% of their actions, according to Short. Tracker, a website that tracks disclosed short positions in UK companies.
It has since fallen to 4.6%, making it the ninth-highest-quoted UK-listed company.
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BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, is among those betting that Abrdn’s share price will fall further. The US-based group has the largest short position in Abrdn shares, representing 1.5% of its shares, according to a filing with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Investors must disclose short positions of 0.50% or more to the UK regulator.
Man Group subsidiary GLG Partners, which increased its short position on the same day Abrdn announced its first-half results, has a 1.4% short position. Meanwhile, Point72 Asset Management, the hedge fund founded by billionaire Steven Cohen, is also betting against Abrdn.
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Abrdn declined to comment.
Ashmore, the emerging markets specialist that has been targeted by short sellers in the past, is the only other asset manager in the top 10 shorted UK stocks.
BlackRock has a 0.89% short position against Ashmore, which has seen its share price drop nearly 22% since the start of the year. Odey Asset Management and Wellington are among the other known funds hoping to benefit from the fall in Ashmore’s share price.
Ashmore, which in July reported an 18.3% fall in assets under management in the three months to June, was hit by $6.6 billion in outflows from its funds, while negative market moves wiped out $7,700 million dollars of its assets.
Mark Coombs, chief executive of Ashmore, cited “continued geopolitical tension, higher-than-expected inflation and more aggressive monetary tightening in the US” among some of the headwinds it faced.
Ashmore declined to comment on the short positions taken against her, which represent 4.4% of her shares.
The short positions come amid a turbulent period for the global asset management sector, with rising inflation and geopolitical uncertainty among the biggest challenges facing firms in general.
Jupiter, the FTSE 250-listed asset manager, announced on July 29 that its year-on-year profits had fallen by more than 60%, while assets under management fell from £60.5bn to £48.8bn in the six months to the end. of June
BlackRock itself posted a 30% drop in profits and DWS posted net outflows of €25 billion in the second quarter, driven mainly by its low-margin cash products. The income of the German asset manager decreased by 3% during the same period to 671 million euros.
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