【英语中国】中国汉能股价上涨让卖空者失算 Short sellers feel the heat from Chinese solar group Hanergy

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2015-1-8 15:58

小艾摘要: Short sellers are sitting on potential losses of more than $300m in a little-known Chinese solar company whose stock has soared in spite of their heavy bets to the contrary.Shares in Hong Kong-listed ...
Short sellers feel the heat from Chinese solar group Hanergy
Short sellers are sitting on potential losses of more than $300m in a little-known Chinese solar company whose stock has soared in spite of their heavy bets to the contrary.

Shares in Hong Kong-listed Hanergy Thin Film Power Group have more than doubled in the past six months, giving the distributor of solar equipment a market capitalisation of almost $15bn — almost as much as the three biggest US solar companies combined.

But several Hong Kong brokers report that hedge funds are still clamouring to borrow the stock, to short sell it: selling borrowed shares in the market in the hope their price will fall, so they can be bought back more cheaply and returned to their original owner. By doing this, short sellers can profit from falling prices — in effect, betting against the company’s shareholders — but lose when prices rise.

Unlike Tianhe and Olam, Hanergy has not been subject to a sharply critical public report. However, a note published by CLSA, the Asia-based brokerage, in December questioned the six-month rise in Hanergy’s share price when the company’s fundamentals had not changed significantly. David Webb, a corporate governance activist in Hong Kong, has also highlighted the listed unit’s reliance on sales to its mainland parent.

Hanergy declined to comment on the short selling and analyst concerns.

Gains in the Hanergy share price have led one hedge fund not involved in the short selling to warn that the trade could be “Asia’s Volkswagen” — a reference to the notorious 2008 “short squeeze” when the German carmaker’s stock doubled overnight after Porsche revealed it had used derivatives to take control. That news forced hedge funds to rush to cover short positions from a suddenly far smaller pool of available shares.

About 73 per cent of the Hong Kong-listed unit’s shares are controlled by Hanergy’s founder, Li Hejun, who is China’s fifth richest man, according to Forbes. More than 90 per cent of Hanergy shares that are available to borrow — about 4 per cent of the total issued shares, according to Markit, the data provider — have been on loan for most of the past year.

Between the end of August and Wednesday’s market close, Hanergy’s shares had risen from HK$1.27 to HK$2.74 ($0.35). While data for individual short seller positions are not available, assuming all short positions were taken at the beginning of that period, multiplying the average number of shares on loan by the HK$1.47 price rise suggests the short sellers, collectively, would have built up a paper loss of just over $300m.

Alternatively, had the short sellers collectively placed their bets just two months ago, they would still be nursing losses of more than $200m.

中国太阳能企业汉能(Hanergy Thin Film Power Group)股票的卖空者可能损失逾3亿美元,因为尽管他们巨额押注于该公司股价下跌,其股价却一直飙升。

过去6个月,在香港上市的汉能股价飙升逾一倍,令这家不怎么出名的太阳能设备分销商获得近150亿美元的市值,几乎相当于美国最大3家太阳能企业的市值总和。

然而,香港几家券商称,对冲基金仍希望借入然后卖空这家公司的股票。卖出借来的股票,在股价下跌时,卖空者就能以更低价格买回股票,还给最初的股票所有者。这么做可以从股价下跌中获利(实际上是与该公司股东对赌),但如果股价上涨,卖空者就会亏损。

与另外两家遭遇卖空的企业天河化工(Tianhe)和奥兰公司(Olam)不同,汉能并没有遭遇猛烈批评该公司的公开报告。然而,总部位于亚洲的券商里昂证券(CLSA)在去年12月发表的报告中,对汉能股价6个月的攀升提出质疑,认为该公司的基本面因素并未发生巨大变化。香港公司治理维权人士大卫?韦伯(David Webb)还强调了该上市公司对内地母公司销售的依赖。

汉能拒绝就卖空行为和分析师对它的担忧发表评论。

汉能股价上涨促使一家并未参与卖空的对冲基金警告称,汉能有可能成为“亚洲的大众(Volkswagen)”,指2008年那起著名的“空头逼仓”事件。当时在保时捷(Porsche)透露已利用衍生品购得德国汽车制造商大众控股权后,大众股价上涨一倍。这一消息促使对冲基金纷纷回补空头,但可买进的股票数量要少的多,造成大众股价飙涨。

汉能在香港上市的股票中,约73%由该公司创始人李河君所有,他在《福布斯》(Forbes)中国富豪榜上排名第五。过去一年大部分时间里,在可以出借的汉能股票中,有超过90%是贷款借入。数据供应商Markit的数据显示,可以出借的股票约占汉能已发行股份的4%。

从去年8月底至本周三收盘,汉能股价从1.27港元涨至2.74港元。目前尚没有个人卖空者仓位的数据。假设所有空头仓位是在这段时期的一开始建立的,那么将贷款借入的股票数量乘以1.47港元的股价涨幅,结果是卖空者的账面损失总计略超过3亿美元。

如果卖空者是在两个月前建仓的,那么他们的损失仍超过2亿美元。

译者/梁艳裳

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