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Hedge funds take £162m bet against shares in property giant British Land

Hedge funds take £162m bet against shares in property giant British Land

Hedge funds have taken a £162million bet against shares in property giant British Land. 

Official data shows the value of British Land shares held by short-sellers – investors using contracts to make money from a drop in a company’s share price – has risen to the highest for more than two years. 

Placing a bet: Official data shows the value of British Land shares held by short-sellers has risen to the highest for more than two years

The situation was worsened when London hedge fund Marshall Wace, run by Sir Paul Marshall and Ian Wace, increased its short position last week. 

That coincided with a Government decision to extend a ban on commercial evictions until next March – a blow for landlords but welcome news for tenants. 

The rise in the level of short positions at British Land – 3.6 per cent of its stock – puts it into the top ten most shorted firms. Its rival Hammerson has long been among the highest with 6.5 per cent of its shares currently in the hands of short-sellers. 

Sainsbury’s and Cineworld are the only stocks on the market with more investors betting against them.

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