Mysterious Hong Kong Buyer For $600 Million of Fukushima-Owner TEPCO Shares

As the news from the Fukushima reactor gets worse and worse, it turns out that someone thinks the owner of that nuclear hell-hole — Tokyo Electric Power Company, aka TEPCO — is a “good bet”.

According to the ever-excellent Keith Bradsher of the Times:

Japanese regulators and executives of the Tokyo Electric Power Company are asking questions about a seemingly coordinated series of stock purchases two weeks ago that led to an undisclosed buyer or buyers acquiring a large bloc of the utility, which owns Japan’s dangerously damaged nuclear power plant.

Regulators want to know whether the trades, valued at up to $600 million and placed from Hong Kong during the week of April 3, were structured to circumvent Japanese securities laws, which require the owner of more than 5 per cent of a publicly traded company to file disclosure papers identifying the shareholder.

Depending on the prices at which the buy orders were executed, they could add up to nearly 10 per cent of Tepco’s shares.

While all global banks / hedge funds et al have Hong Kong offices, the buyer could have come from anywhere in the world.

But not surprisingly, several Japanese and others wonder if the buyer comes from China, given the weirdness that has gone on, in the immediate, since the fall when China shut off high-tech vital rare earth metals exports to Japan, and, in a longer sense, since 1931 and the Japanese occupation of Manchuria.

Whoever it is, it seems they must know something, because at the time the trades were made, the Fukushima was well into its now-daily downward spiral.

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