(Bloomberg) — The family office of former Tiger Management trader Bill Hwang was behind the unprecedented selling of some U.S. stocks Friday, according to two people directly familiar with the trades.
Archegos Capital Management was forced by its banks to sell more than $20 billion worth of shares after some positions moved against him, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. The companies involved ranged from Chinese technology giants to U.S. media conglomerates.
Morgan Stanley traded about $13 billion, including Farfetch Ltd., Discovery Inc., Baidu Inc. and GSX Techedu Inc., said the people, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sold $6.6 billion worth of shares of Baidu, Tencent Music Entertainment Group and Vipshop Holdings Ltd. before the market opened in the U.S, according to an email to clients seen by Bloomberg News.
That move was followed by the sale of $3.9 billion of shares in ViacomCBS Inc. and iQiyi Inc. the email said.
Hwang didn’t reply to an email seeking comment Sunday. A Goldman spokesperson declined to comment and a Morgan Stanley official didn’t immediately respond.
ViacomCBS and Discovery posted their biggest declines ever Friday, after the selling and analyst downgrades. ViacomCBS closed 27% lower to $48.23, down from a high of $100.34 on March 22. Discovery also slumped 27% to $41.90, down from $77.27 on March 19.
Wall Street figures have been feverishly speculating about the identity of Friday’s seller. The liquidation had triggered price swings for every stock involved in the high-volume transactions, rattling traders.
Block trades — the sale of a large chunk of stock at a price sometimes negotiated outside of the market — are common, but the size of these trades and the multiple blocks hitting the market during the normal trading hours aren’t.
Hwang was an institutional stock salesman at Hyundai Securities Co. in the early 1990s, where he dealt with Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management. Robertson hired him in 1995 after Hwang won an annual prize awarded to the person outside of Tiger who had contributed most to the fund’s success.
After Robertson closed Tiger, Hwang set up Tiger Asia Management, in part with money seeded by his mentor Robertson.
In December 2012, Hwang admitted to illegally using inside information to trade Chinese bank stocks and agreed to criminal and civil settlements of more than $60 million.
(Updates with reasons behind selling in second paragraph)
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