Tuesday, 31 March 2009

I want a new Porsche

No, not that car. I think they look horrible, and they seem to be driven entirely by idiots. The company. The following should be illegal. I guess that it isn't. But note that I have no idea if the sequence of actions discussed actually happened.

From the comments section of this post at FT alphaville, mildly edited for readability:
Porsche bought cash-settled call options from a number of investment banks.

The banks bought shares to cover their positions - thus reducing the free float.

The banks then lent shares to various hedge funds who were shorting the stock, apparently (rumour) with the encouragement of Porsche.

Porsche then bought the shares that the hedge funds were selling, thus completing the circle (but not falling foul of their claim that they hadn't sold [lent?] directly to short-sellers).

Porsche then announced their massively increased position and the stock price rose. The short squeeze was exacerbated by the fact that Porsche now had more of the stock than anyone thought and the majority of the rest was held by index funds who couldn't / wouldn't sell.
Remember, we don't know this was what happened. But if it did, it feels a lot like market abuse to me. So how come Porsche have been cleared? Ah, wait, could it be something to do with being a German hedge fund (that also makes ugly cars), rather than an American or British one (that doesn't)?

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2 Comments:

Blogger ElChief said...

uh, this "news" is like 8 weeks old.

12:35 am  
Blogger David Murphy said...

What is new is that Bafin has just cleared Porsche of any wrong-doing, demonstrating that crony capitalism is not a purely Anglo-Saxon phenomenon.

7:10 am  

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