Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

Odey’s Barclays boost

May 15, 2009

There’s nothing like backing up your stock market calls with a nice healthy profit, and Crispin Odey has done just that, revealing a 27.74 percent return in April from his European fund.

rtr23livHaving last month said the rally in equities could turn into a new bull market and having recently tucked away a few banks into his portfolio (after last year making money shorting banks), Odey has profited from the astonishing recovery over the past two months in Barclays shares, which alone accounted for nearly half the fund’s return last month.

There could be more to come.

According to Odey, the “government has felt and acted like a gorilla in this downturn”, and says state actions, while hindering its ability to borrow, may have turned “a deflationary bust into an inflationary bust”.

The result, for Odey, is that if inflation does take off then equities, which look cheap to him, will protect investors’ money in real terms.

In contrast, former Odey fund manager Hugh Hendry, who is now at his own firm Eclectica and who is well known for his bearish stance, lost 5.4 percent last month

“We were not positioned for such an embracement of risk-taking,” admits Hendry, although he quickly moved to limit losses rather than fight the rally and cut back all his risk positions.

Odey, meanwhile, has more than one thing to thank Barclays for. Not only has it proved one of the trades of the year, but his wife Nichola Pease, deputy chairman of fund firm JO Hambro Capital Management, comes from the family that founded Barclays bank.

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