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The stocks powering Odey’s European hedge fund

by Emma Dunkley on Jan 07, 2013 at 10:35

The stocks powering Odey’s European hedge fund

Credit crisis star Crispin Odey has seen his flagship $1.8 billion Odey European hedge fund soar on the back of shrewd bets on banking and media stocks.

The fund has returned 24.1% in the first 10 months of 2012, with his largest allocation to banking stocks delivering the biggest boost.

His holding in Barclays – which battered the fund in 2011 after plummeting more than 30% -  recovered these losses and in 2012 was buoyed along with other banks by the raft of backdoor quantitative easing measures enacted by the European Central Bank, despite being caught in the Libor scandal and other regulation probes.

Odey also snapped up shares in ailing Man Group last year, as they dropped around 50%, to gain a 5% voting share in the firm in the view the group will recover. ‘They are an amazing selling machine,’ Odey said, speaking to Bloomberg.

Online retailer Sports Direct International was another top selection for Odey, with shares rising last year from around 240p to 400p.

Sports Direct is also a favourite pick among managers such as Artemis’ Tim Steer on the UK Growth fund and Schroders’ Andy Brough, who runs the UK Mid 250 fund .

Odey’s other large holdings that have been a boon to the fund in the last year include BskyB and Sky Deutschland, the latter of which rose three times in value last year.

However, 2012’s performance contrasted with the previous year, when his fund was down 20.3%, according to Bloomberg data, after British banking stocks – such as Barclays – and BSkyB endured a torrid year.

Despite BSkyB's woes, as a firm Odey said it would continue to back it. Following a 7.6% dip in July 2011, Odey said the stock looked good value and after previously trimming his position decided to build it back up again.

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