Clean-Energy Fund SAM, Hedge Funds In Stare Down

Mar 22 2010 | 2:05pm ET

There are a lot of hedge funds hoping that a hugely-successful clean-energy investor is dead wrong.

The SAM Smart Energy Fund has been buying up stocks that others can’t wait to dump, Bloomberg News reports. In one case, fund manager Thiemo Lang has built an approximately 5% stake in New York-based Fuel Systems Solutions, even though more than half of the natural-gas car engine-maker’s shares have been lent to short-selling hedge funds and proprietary trading desks.

“These companies have been hit quite hard, but we’re sticking to our position and increasing it,” Lang told Bloomberg. “The strong correction we’ve seen at the beginning of the year is overdone.”

SAM Smart Energy has also boosted its investment in solar panel-maker Yingli Green Energy Holding. Both Fuel Systems and Yingli are down by double-digits this year, and SAM Smart Energy is suffering as a result: The €500 million fund, which soared 83% last year, is facing its worst quarter in more than a year.

Several hedge funds are going the other way on those stocks. New York-based Harvest Capital Strategies trimmed its stake in Fuel Systems by 11% in the fourth quarter. Peak6 Investment effectively exited the stock, dumping 97% of its shares.

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