Billionaire Stakeholders Abandoned EU Stocks Ahead Of Today's 'Hawkish' ECB Meeting

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Sep 09, 2021 - 04:15 AM

Today's much-anticipated ECB meeting has all eyes & ears ready with both hands and feet to 'sell, sell, sell' or 'buy, buy, buy' on the 'news' that Lagarde and her lackeys will shift to a more hawkish (well, less infinitely dovish) stance.

However, while mom-and-pop 'bagholder' may not be hanging on every word as they watch their investment portfolios soar to records, insiders' expectations that policy makers may begin paring back pandemic stimulus measures have prompted huge sales by stakeholders across European markets.

As EU stocks have rallied in recent weeks, stake sales (where a company selling its equity holding in a particular company to another company) have soared.

Specifically, shareholders have sold $7.7 billion worth of stakes in European companies over the past seven days, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Tuesday was particularly busy, with at least eight offerings in European companies led by a marquee $2.7 billion deal from EQT AB’s partners.

For a sense of the exuberance, Bloomberg reports that EQT’s stock was trading at nearly six times its initial public offering price set in September 2019, prompting the private equity firm’s partners to seek partial release of a lockup agreement a year early to unload billions of dollars in shares onto the market Tuesday night.

Managers are playing down the deluge of selling:

“See the recent deal spree more as regular profit taking as part of a strong run in markets, than a sign markets have topped,” said Shaunak Mazumder, a global equities fund manager at Legal & General Investment Management.

Semmingly able to see this insider sell-fest as bullish:

“It’s an attractive market to buy into for investors, as equity indexes continue to be strong,” said Stefan Weiner, head of equity capital markets for Northern Europe at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

But, notably this massive stake sale has occurred in the few days of September and August and September have seen stocks start to stumble from their seemingly unstoppable surge off March 2020 lows...

Of course, judging from the machinations among various Fed members over 'taper' timing anxiety, we suspect The ECB will be unable (more likely unwilling) to live up to the hawkish expectations that have set in and will offer the usual 'on this hand, on the other hand' double-speak to avoid any market turbulence (despite zee Germans anxiety over roaring inflation).