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Top Asset Managers Still Bullish On Crude

Oil

With U.S. investment managers and hedge funds reporting their quarterly equity positions ahead of the SEC deadline last month, some of the world’s largest asset managers are still taking bullish positions in WTI overall by increasing their investment in an important WTI investment instrument; leveraged WTI ETFs with one ETF in particular seeing a change of over 101 percent in shares held from the prior quarter. The most common way to gauge the price of crude oil is to follow the daily pricing of WTI, but another more profound method is to examine the flow of investments into these ETFs that track WTI benchmarks. The ProShares Bloomberg Ultra Crude Oil ETF (Ticker: UCO) is one of the most heavily traded ETFs which theoretically returns twice the daily performance of its WTI benchmark. This particular ETF is a high risk, high reward investment that has lost 29 percent YTD, which makes it even more surprising that the most recent 13F fund filings show a net inflow of more than $26 million into UCO to end the most recent quarter and represents overall 100 percent change in shares held from the previous quarter.

Using data provided by 13F data provider, Whale Wisdom, investors are able to easily aggregate and extract 13F data into Microsoft Excel. Below shows the top 10 equity holders of UCO:

(Click to enlarge)

The chart shows that eight of the largest holders substantially increased their stakes in UCO, while only two funds trimmed their overall positions. Overall, the top funds nearly doubled their total stake in the security from the previous quarter. Not only did several funds add to their overall positions, 15 fund managers actually created new positions in the ETF last quarter. The aggregate net change for all stakeholders of UCO, the 13Fs show a net change of 1,637,511 shares (previously only 1,607,647) bought which represents roughly $26 million of fund inflows and over 101 percent increase in shares held. Saying whether or not the price of oil will increase in 2017 is a subjective question, however several investment managers and hedge funds are still betting millions that it will, at a leveraged expense.

By Henry Trinh for Oilprice.com

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