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Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen trims Metro Bank stake again

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
Steven A. Cohen, founder of Point72. (REUTERS/Steve Marcus)
Steven A Cohen, founder of Point72. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

Hedge fund billionaire Steven A Cohen has reduced the size of his investment in troubled UK challenger bank Metro Bank (MTRO.L) yet again.

Filings show Cohen sold shares in the bank last week through his holding company, CPV Holdings. The transaction reduced Cohen’s holding in Metro from 5.8% to 4.9%.

Shares in Metro Bank had been trading lower on the day and were down 3.1% shortly after the share sale filings were made public.

It marks the third time Cohen has sold shares in recent times and will see him fall down the share register, dropping from the second to fourth biggest investor in the bank.

A spokesperson for Cohen’s investment company Point72 declined to comment. Metro Bank declined to comment.

Read more: Metro Bank founder steps down with immediate effect as chairman

American Cohen held as much as 10% of shares in Metro Bank at his peak and was a the biggest backer of a £375m ($483m) cash call made by the lender last year. However, Cohen has sold down his stake as problems have continued at Metro Bank.

Metro’s share price has collapsed more than 90% over the last 18 months. The company admitted in January 2019 it had misclassified loans, leaving it short of cash. The scandal pushed the bank into the red and led to the exit of both Metro’s founder and chief executive.

“While a revised strategy is on the way, we see a challenging outlook likely to require a long period of restructuring, and for the bank to be loss-making for the foreseeable future,” analysts at Barclays wrote in a note sent to clients last month.

Cohen is one of the world’s most famous hedge fund billionaires. He founded SAC Capital and built it into one of New York’s most successful funds, before pleading guilty to insider trading charges in 2013. The regulator brought a civil case against Cohen, who accepted a two-year ban from managing money as part of a settlement. Forbes estimates that Cohen is worth $13.7bn (£10.64bn), making him the world’s 35th richest person.