Brevan Howard Scores On Swiss Franc Bet

Jan 22 2015 | 10:59am ET

Hedge fund Brevan Howard trimmed its negative bet on the Swiss franc shortly before the Swiss National Bank let the currency soar on January 15.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said the $23.7 billion Brevan Howard Master Fund, which had been betting for several months that the Swiss franc would fall while the U.S. dollar would rise, reduced that position significantly earlier this month.

The fund was up 1.88% through January 16, compared to 1.09% as of Jan. 9, according to Bloomberg's source. According to The Times of London, Brevan Howard made $450 million on its bet.

The SNB removed its cap on the currency on Jan. 15, sending the franc up as high as 41% against the euro.

Fund manager (and Brevan Howard co-founder) Alan Howard is based in Switzerland, as are many of the fund's traders.

BH wasn't the only fund to call the currency swing correctly: the Wall Street Journal said Adrian Owens, the fixed-income and currency head at the Swiss fund manager GAM, closed all its short positions in two portfolios earlier this month over concerns about the sustainability of the SNB's currency cap ahead of quantitative easing from the ECB.

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