Bill Gross' flagship fund cratered as Italy's political turmoil rocked global markets
- Bill Gross‘ Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund cratered on Tuesday as the political turmoil in Italy sparked a sharp sell-off in the country’s bonds and sent investors rushing into safer debt.
- The fund is down nearly 6% for the year.
- Gross, once referred to as Wall Street’s “Bond King,” joined Janus in 2014 after a bitter departure from Pimco, the asset-management firm he founded.
The political turmoil brewing in Italy made its way to global financial markets on Tuesday, and Bill Gross’ bond fund was in the crosshairs.
The Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, managed by Gross, slumped by more than 3% as investors took flight from riskier bonds, including Italy’s, and sought safer debt, including US Treasurys. The fund is now down nearly 6% for the year.
Italian bonds on Tuesday had their worst day in 25 years as investors worried about whether another election would deliver a candidate who threatens the country’s standing in the eurozone. The yield on Italy’s two-year debt, which rises when its price falls, rose by more than 150 basis points, to as high as 2.73%.
Gross’ fund may have lost money on a soured bet that the spread between Italian and German bonds would shrink, according to The Wall Street Journal. Instead, it widened to over 300 basis points as Italian yields soared.
Gross, once referred to as Wall Street’s “Bond King,” joined Janus in 2014 after a bitter departure from Pimco, the asset-management firm he founded.
His fund launched in May 2014 and had $2.08 billion in assets as of April 30, according to data provided by Janus. Holdings updated through the end of March show that the fund was most heavily invested in the debt and equities of US companies including Aetna, Ford, and Ally Financial.
Janus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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