By Lawrence White
LONDON (Reuters) -Hedge fund Qube Research & Technologies (QRT) on Friday said a technical issue had led to an incorrect filing with Britain’s financial regulator, appearing to disclose a short position in HSBC shares which the hedge fund did not in fact have.
The Financial Times and then other media including Reuters earlier in the day reported the fund had made a 672 million pound ($835.43 million) bet against HSBC shares, citing publicly available daily data from the Financial Conduct Authority.
The data seen by Reuters on Friday showed Qube had on Tuesday taken a short position worth 0.57% of HSBC’s outstanding shares. An updated version of the data reviewed by Reuters at 1800 GMT showed no mention of the position.
“The FCA filing was made erroneously due to a technical issue and is currently being corrected with the FCA. Please note that QRT do not have a net short position in HSBC,” QRT Chief Operating Officer Stuart Brown told Reuters.
Brown did not explain how the technical error occurred, but said Qube was investigating.
A spokesperson for HSBC declined to comment. The FCA did not respond immediately to a request for comment on whether it would take any action.
A short position is a bet that a company’s stock price will decline.
FCA rules require investors to disclose to it short positions in stocks when they reach 0.2% of a company’s outstanding stock, albeit the watchdog earlier this year relaxed a requirement for short sellers to announce such positions publicly.
($1 = 0.8044 pounds)
(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Louise Heavens and Paul Simao)