April 07, 2014

Kyle Bass: General Motors shares could touch $50, despite probe

Bass, founder of Hayman Capital and owner of a big position in GM, said he believes the automaker's stock could trade in the high $40s or even touch $50 a share in 12 to 18 months, more than $15 higher than current prices. Bass told "Squawk on the Street" that GM is one of the cheapest stocks in the market. He also said the government could find itself liable for claims related to faulty ignitions because it took over the company when GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009. His bullish stance on GM came as a vehicle safety group attributed 303 deaths to faulty air bags in GM vehicles. "When I look at this, this was not a bankruptcy," Bass said. "It was a government takeover of GM. It may very well be that the government is liable for the claims that the government is looking into. A lot of these claims were discharged in bankruptcy and the government ran the company for a while. I find it kind of silly." During his interview with CNBC, Bass also explained why his hedge fund increased its stake in nonbank mortgage servicer Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, a company under scrutiny from New York state banking regulators. Earlier this month, New York State Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky demanded information from Nationstar about its portfolio and practices as his office looks at whether smaller, nonbank servicers can handle large numbers of mortgages.

Bass added that nonbank servicers such as Nationstar don't generate large numbers of complaints compared to the number of delinquent mortgages they handle. "The banks are almost three times worse at doing this and yet the regulatory inquiry is in the nonbank sector?" Bass said. "Ben Lawsky should focus on who the worst players are and not who the best are."

Kyle Bass, an American hedge fund manager, is the Founder of Hayman Capital. He received extensive coverage in the financial press for profiting $590 million by short selling the sub-prime mortgage bond market, before that market crashed. In 2011, Bass initiated a huge position in Greek sovereign debt through CDSs. Media reports were that he could profit up to 650 times his investment should Greece default on its debt obligations.