Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, Founder, Co-Chairman & Co-CIO, at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland May 24, 2022.
Adam Galica | CNBC
Billionaire investor Ray Dalio is right to have invested in European equities, and global markets still have a difficult road ahead of them, according to Beat Wittmann, a partner in Zurich-based Porta Advisors.
Dalios Bridgewater Associates has at least $ 6.7 billion in short positions against European stocks, according to data group Breakout Point, which compiled the company̵[ads1]7;s public revelations. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
The Connecticut-based fund’s 22 short-term goals in Europe include a $ 1 billion bet against Dutch semiconductor equipment supplier ASML Holding, $ 705 million against France’s TotalEnergies and $ 646 million against French drugmaker Sanofi, according to Breakout Point data. Other big names that are also shorted by the company include Santander, Bayer, AXA, ING Groep and Allianz.
“I think he’s on the right side of the story, and it’s quite interesting to see which strategies have worked best this year,” Portas Wittmann told CNBC on Friday.
“It’s basically the trend-following quantitative strategies, which performed very strongly – no surprise – and interestingly, the short-long strategies have been quite disastrous, and of course needless to say the long-only has been the worst, so I think right now he is on the right side of this Totaldentalcare. ”
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index is down more than 16% so far this year, although it has not had as much pain as Wall Street so far.
However, Europe’s proximity to the conflict in Ukraine and the associated energy crisis, together with the global macroeconomic challenges of high inflation and supply chain problems, have led many analysts to downgrade their outlook on the continent.
“The fact that all these shorts appeared in a matter of days indicates index-related activity. In fact, all shorts companies belong to the STOXX Europe 50 Index,” said Breakout Point founder Ivan Cosovic.
“If this is really the STOXX Europe 50 index-related strategy, it will mean that other index components are also shorted, but are currently below the disclosure threshold of 0.5%. It is unknown to us to what extent these disclosures may be a direct card game. ., and the extent to which a hedge against certain exposure. ”
Dalio’s firm is generally bearish on the global economy and has already positioned itself against the sale of US government bonds, US equities and both US and European corporate bonds.
“I do not think we are near any bottom”
Despite what appeared to be a slight upturn on Friday, Wittmann agreed that the picture for global stock markets could get worse before it gets better.
“I do not think we are close to a bottom in the overall indices, and we can not compare the average declines over the last 40 years, when we initially had a disinflation trend since [Paul] Volcker time, “he said.
Volcker chaired the US Federal Reserve between 1979 and 1987, adopting sharp rate hikes that were widely credited for ending high inflation that had persisted through the 1970s and early 1980s, although unemployment rose to almost 11% in 1981.
“We have a really complex macro situation now, unbridled inflation rates, and if you just look at the fact in the US market that we have the long treasury below 3.5%, unemployment below 4%, inflation rates above 8% – real interest rates have almost no moved, “Wittmann added.
“If you look at risk indicators like the volatility index, credit spreads, default rates, they are not even halfway where they should be to form a proper bottom market in the bear market, so there is a lot of partial leverage left.”
Many loss-making technology stocks, “meme stocks” and cryptocurrencies have sold out sharply since central banks began their hawkish pivot to curb inflation, but Wittmann said there is more to come for the wider market.
“A lot of the heat is being addressed right now, but the key indicator here I still think is high-yield debt spreads and default rates, and they have simply not reached territory that at any stage here is interesting to invest in, so the pain will continue for a while.”