Jefferies Group Inc., rebounding this year after reassuring investors it can weather turmoil in Europe, took a net short position on Spanish debt as it doubled a negative stance on five of the region’s riskiest nations.
Jefferies’s net exposure to Spain was negative $58.8 million when the fiscal first quarter ended Feb. 29, the firm said Thursday in a regulatory filing. The figure reflects ties to sovereign issuers, corporations, financial institutions and mortgage- and asset-backed securities. The company previously said it had a net long position of $84.5 million on Nov. 30.
Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, signaled Wednesday that his nation’s economic situation is one of “extreme difficulty,” raising the threat of an international bailout. Jefferies’s shift on Spain expanded the firm’s total net short position on five European nations -- also including Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Greece -- to $192.8 million at the end of the first quarter. The New York-based investment bank had reported a $96.1 million net short position the previous period.
Jefferies fell 1.2 percent to $18.31 today in New York. The shares have climbed 33 percent this year.
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