One of the world’s most famous hedge funds has backed spreadbetting firm Plus500, despite the company’s share pricecollapsing 45% in the last two days.
Filings show that $US13.2 billion (£8.54 billion) hedge fund Odey Asset Management, headed by Crispin Odey who was briefly married to Rupert Murdoch’s eldest daughter, yesterday bought around 1.6 million more shares in Plus500, taking its stake in the business to 14%.
The purchase came the same day as Plus500’s shares nosedived, after the company said around 55% of UK accounts had been frozen.
The company blamed “human error,” saying some documents scanned as part of anti-money laundering checks were unreadable. As a result it was having to asking for more documents from customers to be sure of their identities.
One analyst today estimated that the freeze could cost the company £25 million ($US38.66 million) in lost revenue on top of the more than £300 million ($US463.86 million) already wiped off its market value.
Odey Asset Management’s purchase looks like a vote of faith in the business despite its problems. The fund may have thought yesterday’s price dive was a good opportunity to top up on shares at a knock-down bargain.
We’ve reached out to Odey Asset Management for comment on why it upped its stake but it had not responded with a comment at the time of publication. This is unsurprising, though, as hedge funds are typically highly secretive.