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Fraser Perring, the founder of short seller Viceroy Research. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Fraser Perring, the founder of short seller Viceroy Research. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Fraser Perring, the short seller who accused Wirecard of fraud years before the German payment processing company’s collapse, is betting Tesla’s stratospheric valuation will come back down to earth.

The founder of Viceroy Research tweeted on Wednesday that there is “price dislocation” between shares of Tesla and incumbent carmakers Toyota Motor and Volkswagen. The two largest vehicle manufacturers each sold roughly 10 or 11 vehicles for every one that Tesla delivered last year, yet the company led by Elon Musk has a $1.15-trillion market capitalisation, more than double the combined valuations of Toyota and VW.

Perring was part of a team behind a 2016 report that accused Wirecard management and board members of money laundering and facilitating the evasion of US restrictions on internet gambling. The company collapsed in June 2020 after revealing that €1.9bn of assets listed on its balance sheet probably never existed.

Musk, Tesla’s CEO, tweeted in 2018 that short selling should be illegal and called those who take part in wagering against companies “value destroyers”. Tesla has long been one of the US market’s largest shorts — which has cost bears billions of dollar as the stock soared over the past two years.

More stories like this are available on Bloomberg.com

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