+ 7.05
+ 2.21%
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Famed Short Seller Jim Chanos Is Long ETFs

May 18, 2015 6:58 am
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Kynikos Associates, managed by famed short seller Jim Chanos, recently filed its first quarter Form 13F disclosing its long equity positions as of March 31. Its portfolio, focused on financial stocks — which account for 45 percent of its total value, lost about 24 percent in market value over the quarter, and is now valued at $212.7 million.

This article will take a look at some of the most relevant moves and positions of the first quarter.

Top Five

When looking at Kynikos’ top five holdings (in terms of market value), one thing quickly stands out: all of them are ETFs.  Following a 50 percent increase in the fund’s stake, the SPDR S&P MidCap 400 ETF (NYSEARCA:MDY) displaced Sunedison Inc (NYSE: SUNE) from the front-runner spot. Worth more than $13 million, Chanos’ 47,154 shares of the ETF account for more than 6 percent of his total equity portfolio.

The iShares Russell 2000 Index (ETF) (NYSEARCA:IWM) came in second, after the firm almost tripled its exposure. As of March 31, it disclosed ownership of 104,930 shares, also worth more than $13 million.

Third in line is the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY), which saw Kynikos boost its wage by 29 percent, to 62,419 shares, worth $12.88 million – which also represent more than 6 percent of the total portfolio.

The fourth spot in the fund’s list was occupied by a newcomer: the DBX ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:DBEU). Between January and March, inclusive, the firm acquired 334,760 shares, worth almost $10 million.

Last in the top five is the Consumer Discretionary SPDR (ETF) (NYSEARCA:XLY), which ascended a position despite a 22 percent decline in the Chanos’ stake. The fund now owns 116,839 shares, worth approximately $8.8 million.

Other Interesting Moves (Or, Reshuffling The Top Five)

The aforementioned Sunedison, which was the most valuable stake in the previous quarter, fell to the seventh spot in the list, after Kynikos trimmed its involvement by 58 percent, to 322,741 shares.

Another interesting newcomer was McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD). The fund purchased 67,788 shares, worth more than $6.6 million, over the quarter.

Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO) was the runner-up in last quarter’s list. However, the 254,115 shares position was closed over the first quarter.  Same was the case for iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Indx (ETF) (NYSEARCA:EEM), third in last quarter’s list, which saw Kynikos dispose of all of its 293,180 shares over the period.

Finally, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), which held the fourth spot, was also sold out. The fund got rid of 296,676 shares, which accounted for more than 4 percent of last quarter’s portfolio, over the first quarter.

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