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By Maiya Keidan
TORONTO (Reuters) - Several hedge funds may have been bruised by bets on Didi Global Inc, filings showed after the shares tumbled since the Chinese ride-hailing company announced plans to withdraw from the New York Stock Exchange.
Didi’s shares have tumbled 56.8% from their June 30 IPO price. The slide accelerated after the company said on Friday it planned to delist from the New York Stock Exchange and pursue a listing in Hong Kong, bending to Chinese regulators angered by its U.S. debut.
Hedge funds were invested in 94.4 million shares of Didi at the end of September, down 13.2 million shares from the previous quarter, according to U.S. 13F filings compiled by industry tracker Symmetric.
It is not known if hedge funds had further reduced their investment since that time, but Reuters calculations show the 7.9% fall in Didi’s shares between the end of September and Dec. 7 would have wiped a combined $60.9 million of value from those positions.
As of the end of September, 27% of the value of the company was held by institutional investors owned by managers classified as hedge funds by Symmetric.
Symmetric notes that stocks with a high percentage of ownership by hedge funds may be susceptible to liquidations by those funds during stressed periods.
Among hedge funds that bought shares in the third quarter, Bridgewater Associates purchased almost 9 million, according to filings.
Penserra Capital bought 5.4 million in Didi's stock while Owl Creek Asset Management purchased 1.7 million and Seven Eight Capital 537,145 shares, the filings showed. They showed that Paulson & Co added 1.6 million shares at the end of the third quarter while Seven Eight Capital purchased 537,145 shares.
Bridgewater, Penserra, Owl Creek, Paulson and Seven Eight did not respond to requests for comment.
Tiger Global Management and billionaire George Soros’ fund also held sizeable stakes in Didi at the end of the third quarter, together accounting for 4.7 million shares at end-September.
Singapore’s state fund Temasek reduced its position in Didi by 3.6 million shares as of Sept. 30, but maintained a stake of 29.4 million shares.
Tiger and Soros did not respond to requests for comment while Temasek declined to comment on the position.
It is not known if these firms are still invested but an executive at a large U.S. based hedge fund, which had a small position in Didi that it exited recently, said a lot of people are pulling out even if they plan to possibly get back in later.
"There is also a problem that retail investors and even some mutual funds may not be able to easily own Hong Kong listed shares and will be forced to sell, so there would be more pressure," said the executive.
Among the public pension plans that held shares of Didi were Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Montreal-based Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).
A spokeswoman for Caisse declined to comment while CPP and CalPERS could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Reporting by Maiya Keidan, additional reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in New York; editing by Megan Davies and David Gregorio)