Oct 16, 2019

Fund manager Michael Hasenstab lost $3 billion in Q3 betting on Argentina and Treasury yields

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets

Argentina's "Macrisis," which has sent its currency spiraling lower and cut the value of its bonds by more than half their value, and the implosion of U.S. Treasury yields cost Franklin Templeton’s flagship $100 billion Global Bond Fund $3 billion in the 3rd quarter, public filings data show.

What happened: The fund, managed by Michael Hasenstab, was heavily invested in Argentinian local-currency bonds, which defaulted in August, and a huge short position on U.S. Treasuries, which have seen prices rise significantly, Bloomberg reported.

The backdrop: "It’s not the first time Hasenstab, who oversees more than $100 billion and made his name staking large sums on contrarian trades, has been wrong-footed. But he’s rarely been caught in two poorly-performing bets at the same time. Morningstar Inc. said in August it would stick to its top analyst rating for his fund despite the barrage of bad news because of its track record of picking winners in the long term," per Bloomberg.

  • The fund has returned 2.4% in the past three years, Bloomberg data show.

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