Bridgewater cuts short positions in European companies

NEW YORK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Bridgewater Associates has cut most of its disclosed mammoth bets against European stocks, according to data group Breakout Point, using the hedge fund's public disclosures.

In July, Bridgewater's big shorts against stocks in more than 50 European companies reached roughly 10 billion euros, in a sign that the hedge fund firm could potentially be pessimistic about companies on the continent.

Now, Bridgewater is betting against only two financial institutions: Banco Santander SA (SAN.MC) and ING Groep (INGA.AS), said Breakout Point. Those bearish positions amount 475 million euros.

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Breakout Point used public disclosures to make calculations about Bridgewater short positions.

Under European regulation, funds have to disclose bets over 0.5% short interest, which means Bridgewater's bets against European stocks could be bigger. So it is not possible to determine what Bridgewater has in short positions below this threshold.

It is not clear why Bridgewater has dismantled its bearish positions. The hedge fund founded by billionaire Ray Dalio did not immediately comment on the matter.

Bloomberg first reported on Bridgewater covering its short positions in European companies.

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Reporting by Carolina Mandl in New York, editing by David Evans

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