Wirecard saga is far from over according to short sellers

Around 8.5% of the German payment company's shares are still being shorted

Wirecard saga is far from over according to short sellers

Wirecard, the Germany payments company that started insolvency proceedings last week, is still the target of a number of hedge funds, according to new research.

Several funds have increased their short positions in the shares since the Munich-based company went into insolvency, with 10.2mln Wirecard shares currently being shorted.

This is down 41% over the last seven days but still representing 8.5% of total freefloat, according to the analysis by Ortex Analytics.

This found that Coltrane Asset Management, Greenvale Capital, Capital Fund Management and Ennismore Fund Management have increased or opened new short positions in Wirecard.

Cost to borrow continues to skyrocket, up 140% in the past week.

Peter Hillerberg, co-founder of Ortex, said: “Our data shows that short sellers are continuing to see an opportunity with Wirecard.

“Whilst some took profits after last week’s insolvency announcement, others have been building their position in recent days as the share price shows some upward movement.

“For anybody that thought the Wirecard saga was over, it’s clear that short sellers are not done yet.”  

Indeed, there were reports that despite making around £25mln from short-selling in Wirecard, UK hedge fund manager Crispin Odey is preparing to sue Germany’s financial regulator for millions of pounds worth of lost profit after BaFin banned Wirecard shorts for two months last year.

Odey told the Times that his return would have been higher but for the ban in February last year when the German regulator cited Wirecard’s “importance for the economy” and the “serious threat to market confidence” after a collapse in its share price.

Odey Asset Management had a €36mln short position in Wirecard at the start of last year and after BaFin’s intervention the hedge fund bought back half the stock.

Odey said he told the regulator at the time that he was covering half of the position because of its action, so that if Wirecard shares collapsed the hedge fund would have a claim for lost profits.

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