Petrus Advisers Ltd. is shorting Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG, reversing a long position in the real estate lender as its view on the banking sector sours.
(Bloomberg) — Petrus Advisers Ltd. is shorting Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG, reversing a long position in the real estate lender as its view on the banking sector sours.
The activist investor has build a short interest of 0.52% in Deutsche Pfandbriefbank stock, according to a filing on Wednesday.
Deutsche Pfandbriefbank was in Petrus’s crosshairs earlier this year, when the fund held about 3% in the lender and pushed for changes to strategy. That campaign led to a range of measures being enacted, including on green lending targets and job cuts, before Petrus sold its stake.
The new short position reflects Petrus’s bearish view on the broader banking sector, where is sees particular regulatory headwinds for firms with substantial exposure to commercial real estate, people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.
Shares in Deutsche Pfandbriefbank have fallen 8.6% in Frankfurt this year, giving the company a market value of about €894 million ($939 million). A representative for Deutsche Pfandbriefbank declined to comment.
Petrus is a frequent activist investor among smaller banks in Germany. It made a substantial profit from its investment in Comdirect when it was fully taken over by Commerzbank AG, and from selling its stake in Aareal when it was bought by Advent and Centerbridge.
In June, Petrus disclosed a short position in Austrian lender Bawag Group AG and raised questions about its deposit base, US real estate exposure and loans to management. Bawag’s shares slumped the most in three years on the news before recovering.
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