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Burry, famous for 'Big Short,' places bearish bet against semiconductor ETF

By Carolina Mandl and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Hedge fund manager Michael Burry, whose bets against the U.S. housing market before the 2008 financial crisis were chronicled in the movie "The Big Short", in the third quarter added a bearish options position on semiconductors, according to securities fillings released on Tuesday.

He also closed out bearish options against the broad S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 Index, the filings showed.

Burry’s Scion Asset Management’s biggest new position last quarter was in bearish options on an exchange-traded fund focused on semiconductors. He bought put options with a notional value of $47.4 million against the iShares Semiconductor ETF , according to the filing. The ETF is up 45.37% year to date.

Notional value refers to the total value of the underlying securities controlled by options contracts. That is different from the price paid for the contracts or their actual present value, which while undisclosed in the regulatory filing, is likely to be a much smaller number.

The filings also showed that Burry’s fund no longer held puts on the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500. In the second quarter, Burry’s firm held put options with a notional value of $739 million against the popular Invesco QQQ Trust ETF and separate put options with a notional value of $886 million against the SPDR S&P 500 ETF.

The S&P 500 fell 3.6% in the third quarter, while the Nasdaq 100 was down 3%.

Put options convey the right to sell shares at a fixed price in the future and are typically bought to express a bearish or defensive view.

It was not clear how Burry's options position had fared. Regulatory filings do not require the disclosure of options strikes, purchase prices and expiration dates. Since the filings disclose only long positions it was also not clear whether the positions were held outright or against other contracts. (Reporting by Carolina Mandl, in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Anna Driver)

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