Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TCI Goes Short on Japan

I've written of TCI before here. In a post last May for example, I mentioned TCI's proxy contest among shareholders of the Japanese power company J-Power. The management prevailed against TCI in that contest, largely because Japan's government came to their aid. TCI sold its stake in J-Power in October, taking a US$130 million loss.

Now I read that TCI has changed its tack as to its Japanese positions. In order to be a corporate activist, an investor essentially has to be long -- has to own voting equity. But TCI has switched (according to a recent Bloomberg story) to a predominantly short strategy in regards Japan.

TCI has about US$1.2 billion in cumulative short positions in 13 Japanese stocks, including some of that country's biggest names: Toshiba Corp.; Sharp Corp.; Mizuho Financial; Sony Corp., and so forth.

Its short position in Toshiba was worth 39.5 billion yen (US$396 million) at the close of business Wednesday, April 1.

In October of last year the government imposed new requirements on short selling, including disclosure rules, so this data is now available through the Tokyo Stock Exchange's website, though as I say I've lazily taken it from Bloomberg's story.

Here are links, first to Bloomberg;

then to the TSE's English-language page.

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