Lansdowne Discloses Barclays Short

Jan 21 2009 | 3:54am ET

Lansdowne Partners did not waste any time profiting from the expiration of Britain’s ban on short-selling financial stocks.

The London hedge fund disclosed—as per U.K. Financial Services Authority rules—that it was shorting Barclays on Friday, the day the ban expired. Shares of Britain’s second-biggest bank happened to fall 27.9% on that day, earning Lansdowne a handsome profit.

Barclays shares have fallen another 25.6% this week, though it is unclear whether Lansdowne is continuing to short the stock. Under the disclosure rules imposed by the FSA in September, investors have to report any short stake exceeding 0.25% of a financial company’s issued share capital. Firms only have to make further disclosure if their short position changes by another 0.1% of issued share capital. Lansdowne’s disclosed short position on Friday was 0.25%.


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