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TOKYO/ZURICH - Nomura and Credit Suisse warned on Monday they were facing significant losses after a U.S. hedge fund, named by sources as Archegos Capital, defaulted on margin calls.
A fire sale of stocks on Friday caused big drops in the share prices of companies linked to Archegos, a source familiar with the matter said, putting markets on edge about the scale of the possible fallout.
Nomura said on Monday that it faced a possible $2 billion loss due to transactions with a U.S. client while Credit Suisse said a default on margin calls by a U.S.-based fund could be "highly significant and material" to its first-quarter results.
Credit Suisse said that a fund had "defaulted on margin calls" to it and other banks, meaning they were now in the process of exiting these positions.
Nomura shares closed down 16.3% while Credit Suisse shares were down 13.4% at 0855 GMT. Other bank stocks also fell, Deutsche Bank was down 5% while UBS was 3.8% lower. UBS and Deutsche Bank had no immediate comment on their stock prices or exposure to Archegos.
Nasdaq 100 futures and S&P 500 Futures were both down 0.5% in early European trade as the widening fallout of Archegos' liquidation became clearer.
Investors said they were nervous about whether the full extent of Archegos' apparent wipeout has been realised or whether there was more selling to come.
Switzerland's financial regulator said on Monday it was aware of the international hedge fund case and in touch with Credit Suisse about it. The Swiss regulator also said several banks and locations internationally were involved.
The Swiss National Bank declined to comment.
Shares in ViacomCBS and Discovery tumbled around 27% each on Friday, while U.S.-listed shares of China-based Baidu and Tencent Music plunged during the week, dropping as much as 33.5% and 48.5%, respectively, from Tuesday's closing levels. Baidu was trading slightly lower in Hong Kong at the open.
Investors and analysts cited blocks of Viacom and Discovery shares being put in the market on Friday for likely exacerbating the decline in those stocks. Viacom was also downgraded by Wells Fargo on Friday.
A person at Archegos who answered the phone on Saturday declined to comment. Archegos was founded by Bill Hwang, who founded and ran Tiger Asia from 2001 to 2012, when he renamed it Archegos Capital and made it a family office, according to a page capture https://web.archive.org/web/20210124211426/https://www.archegoscapital.com/management of the fund's website. Tiger Asia was a Hong Kong-based fund https://www.reuters.com/article/togerasia-hedgefund/update-1-hedge-fund-tiger-asia-to-return-investor-money-idUKL4E8JE2XP20120814 that sought to profit on bets on securities in Asia.
Prior to starting Tiger Asia, Hwang was an equity analyst for Tiger Management according to Archegos' website https://web.archive.org/web/20210124211426/https://www.archegoscapital.com/management. Tiger Management, run by Julian Robertson, was a hugely successful hedge fund, which returned investor money and shut https://www.reuters.com/article/instant-article/idUSKCN1HC2XV in 2000.