Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shorting makes "billions" for fund managers

"Conservative fund management firms and custody banks are making billions of dollars from short-selling by lending stocks to facilitate such trades in exchange for lucrative fees.

Even as short-sellers attract blame for driving big falls in financial stocks, financial services firms – including those targeted by short-sellers – are profiting from the investing strategy.

US prime brokerage firms, most of which are owned by big Wall St banks, will reap revenue of $11bn (£5.5bn) this year, according to a recent study by Tabb Group, a research business.

Prime brokerage units provide services to hedge funds. They do not reveal their financial results, but executives who work for the units say they make most of their money from lending to short-sellers.

Fund management companies gain the lion’s share of fees derived from lending the shares, and also the bulk of profits from reinvesting the collateral which short-sellers must provide them."

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