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Financiers bet millions on retail gamble

carpetright2Hedge funds have bet hundreds millions of pounds on shares in leading retailers – including Carpetright – falling.

At least three firms have taken short positions on Carpetright's shares – predicting they will fall, accounting for 6.91% of the chain's shares. The trio: GMT Capital, Blackrock Investment Management and Ennismore Fund Management have a combined bet of £54.6m.

Other retailers which firms expect to fall include Argos and Homebase parent Home Retail Group, Tesco, Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer.

The disclosures come under new European rules that short positions worth more than 0.2pc of a company's market capitalisation have to be revealed to the Financial Services Authority. Positions of more than 0.5pc of the market value have to be published.

Some European politicians have blamed short selling for creating unnecessary stockmarket volatility.