Dalio bet no "big issue" for Eni CEO

By Alex Nussbaum and Julia Chatterley on 10/19/2017

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- After years of surviving a sluggish Italian economy and an historic collapse in crude prices, a $300-million bet against his company apparently isn’t enough to spook the head of energy giant Eni SpA.

The short placed against the Rome-based company by hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio is not a “big issue," CEO Claudio Descalzi said Wednesday during a Bloomberg TV interview. The bet by Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates LP was part of $1.1 billion in wagers against Italian banks and businesses. It was reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday.

“This has happened already in the past with hedge funds; they come, they go," Descalzi said. Given the oil market’s turmoil, “there is a lot of volatility and the long positions left some years ago." He wasn’t worried about a drag on investor confidence, he said.

Bridgewater spokesman Russell Sherman declined to comment when reached by telephone.

Descalzi warned that low oil prices are dissuading companies from investing in new production and that that could lead to a 5-to-10-MMbpd shortfall in global oil supplies by 2020.

“We are investing as an industry at a rate that is not sufficient to fight the depletion of overall oil production," he said.

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