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Burford Capital On The Hunt For Stock 'Manipulators'

Tanzeel Akhtar

Burford Capital Limited (OTC: BRFRF) has requested that the U.K.’s High Court grant permission to make public the names of traders it believes “manipulated” its share price during a short attack in August.

Litigation financier Burford Capital has offices in Guernsey, New York, Chicago and London, and its CEO and co-founder is Christopher Bogart.

On Aug. 7, shares in Burford Capital plummeted to $8 after Muddy Waters took a short position in the stock, betting that the price would drop. The hedge fund has accused the company of “egregiously misrepresenting” its returns.

A Burford Capital spokesperson said the Muddy Waters report is "false and misleading."

Burford has bought trading data from the London Stock Exchange showing volumes and times of trades, but releasing traders’ identities requires permission from the High Court, according to the Evening Standard newspaper.

Burford requested a list of all the buy and sell orders during that period as well as traders’ email and postal addresses and phone numbers.

The law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which represents Burford, wrote to the High Court, the Evening Standard said. 

“Burford has purchased all the publicly available trading data ... none of this data discloses the identity of the traders who placed the orders (either directly or through a broker), not does it shed light on unlit orders which may shed light on the manipulative intent of certain traders.”

Burford Capital shares were trading down 8.06% at $9.70 at the time of publication. The stock has a 52-week high of $24.90 and a 52-week low of $4.75.

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