Hedge funds ramping up bets against Metro Bank as shareholders pile on pressure for chairman Vernon Hill to name his exit date
Hedge funds are ramping up their bets against Metro Bank as shareholders pile on the pressure for chairman Vernon Hill to name his exit date.
ENA Investment Capital, a London-based firm run by ex-Morgan Stanley banker George Kounelakis, upped its short position against Metro Bank last week, meaning it will profit if the lender’s shares fall. It is now shorting 1.71 per cent of Metro’s shares and has been building its stake this month.
Under pressure: Metro Bank chairman Vernon Hill said last month that he would step down as chairman but remain a board director
Canadian asset manager Connor Clark & Lunn cranked its short position up in Metro last week from 0.9 per cent to 1 per cent. The pair of hedge funds join Marshall Wace and Odey Asset Management in holding a short position in Metro Bank of 1 per cent or more.
Metro is now the ninth most-shorted company on the London Stock Exchange, with 7.6 per cent of its shares in the hands of the four short-sellers.
The increased bets come as shareholders are pushing Metro to find a new independent chairman.
Hill said last month that he would step down as chairman but remain a board director amid governance concerns. The shake-up of the board follows the discovery of an accounting error at the bank this year, which wiped 39 per cent off its share price in a day.