November 22, 2019 / 11:22 AM / 14 days ago

Ray Dalio denies report hedge fund Bridgewater has bearish bet on market

FILE PHOTO: Bridgewater Associates Chairman Ray Dalio attends the China Development Forum in Beijing, China March 23, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

(Reuters) - Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio said on Friday his hedge fund does not have a net bet that the stock market will fall, taking issue with a story published earlier in the Wall Street Journal.

The hedge fund has bet more than $1 billion that stock markets around the world will drop by March, the WSJ said in its report on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. (on.wsj.com/2pGbT53)

The bet, assembled over a span of months and executed by a handful of Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N), would pay off for the world's biggest hedge fund if either the S&P 500 .SPX or the Euro Stoxx 50 .STOXX50E — or both — declines, the report had said.

The bet is made up of put options, contracts that give investors the right to sell stocks at a specific price by a certain date. The options expire in March and currently represent one of the largest bearish bets against the market, the report added.

“To convey us having a bearish view of the stock market would be misleading,” Dalio said in a statement.

However, Dow Jones, the publisher of Wall Street Journal, said the article is based on interviews with multiple sources.

“The article does not report, as Mr. Dalio says, that Bridgewater has a ‘net’ bearish position on the stock market,” a spokesman for Dow Jones said.

“The article made clear that the trade could be a hedge for the firm’s significant long exposure to equity markets, among other possibilities.”

Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru;Additional Reporting by Abhishek Manikandan; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Amy Caren Daniel

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