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Ruffer ’50 cent’ makes $2.6 billion, as Coronavirus strikes financial market

The fear of Coronavirus has enriched Ruffer, a London investment fund, with $2.6 billion amidst a sell-off caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

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Ruffer, alias 50 Cent, makes $2.6 million in a month as Coronavirus strikes financial market

Ruffer, a London investment fund, has joined the league of the few benefitting from the Coronavirus lockdowns, as it gained $2.6 billion in a month.

The investment company, nicknamed “50 cent”, made the gain after involving in a series of trades amidst a sell-off caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ruffer has a history of taking advantage of volatilities in the financial market; it had profited from a volatility trade during a milder bout of turmoil, a few years back. The latest development started in 2018 when the company had bought Vix derivatives contracts costing half a dollar each at the time.

In a recent report by Financial Times, while offsetting losses in March 2020, Ruffer first made $800 million from a $22 million purchase of derivatives contracts that track the Vix and profit if it rises, which typically happens as stock prices fall sharply.

The investment fund then made $1.8 billion gain from other equity, gold and credit derivatives that protected Ruffer from the financial crisis borne out of the Coronavirus pandemic. The firm, which has $23 billion under its management, saw its Total Return fund drop 0.8% at the end of the first quarter.

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(READ MORE: Covid-19: World Bank discloses when Sub-Saharan will fall into recession)

Ruffer’s profits had been achieved on the back of uncertainties surrounding the stock markets due to disruptions in business activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Investors’ confidence has been shaken as the global economy continues to drag; with no possible vaccine in sight, things might drag till the end of the second quarter.

Nairametrics had reported that new research on vaccines might take the end of 2020 to produce a result.

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Ruffer, alias 50 Cent, makes $2.6 million in a month as Coronavirus strikes financial market

This has sparked a global sell-off in the global market. In the US, S&P 500 index, an equity index that measures the stock performance of 500 large companies listed on stock exchanges in US, declined by more than 30% at its nadir.

It pushed the Vix volatility index—also known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge”—higher than levels seen during the financial crisis that occurred between 2008-2009. But Ruffer made a mouth-watering sum of $2.6 billion owing to its habit of purchasing cheap protection against sharp falls in stock prices. 

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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ENDSARS

Lekki Tollgate Shooting: Sanwo-Olu insists on 2 deaths, no bloodstains at the scene

Governor Sanwo-Olu has reiterated that only two people were killed in last week’s shooting at the Lekki toll plaza.

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#EndSARS: Anyone found culpable in Lekki Toll Plaza shooting would be held accountable - Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has insisted that there were only two confirmed deaths during the shooting incident that happened a week ago at the Lekki Tollgate.

He also said that there were no bloodstains at the scene of the incident.

According to a report on Vanguard, the Lagos State Governor made the disclosure during an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson about the incident and the fall out of the #EndSARS protests over police brutality and extra-judicial killing.

The Governor’s statement is against the backdrop of several reports in the public space, which had claimed that over 30 protesters and in some cases about 70 protesters allegedly died as a result of the shooting by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate.

The Governor said, “Two dead bodies, that is what we have seen from all the morgues, that’s what we have seen going to hospitals, that’s what we have seen as a record. What has happened is that there have been so many footages that were seen, that people have shown, but we have not seen bodies, we have not seen relatives, we have not seen anybody truly coming out to say I am a father or a mother to someone and I cannot find that person. Nobody has turned up. I have been to the ground, there is no scratch of blood anywhere there.

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“From the footage that we could see, because there were cameras at that facility, it seems to me that they would be men in military uniform. That’s what the footage shows.”

While insisting that there was no form of international pressure as a result of the protests, Sanwo-Olu said, “I genuinely believe there would be change. For two reasons; what has happened, especially in Lagos is extremely unimaginable. It was also a clarion call for all of us in government to understand and realize what the youths want us to be doing. It hit all of us like a thunderbolt and it was just a wake-up call.”

In order to aid the investigation to ascertain what happened at the Lekki Tollgate, Sanwo-Olu assured that the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) footages will be made available to the judicial panel already set up to investigate the incident and has already started sitting on Monday.

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While responding to a question, Sanwo-Olu said he was ‘absolutely’ committed to a full investigation of the incident.

He said, “It’s beyond my control to mete out punishment to those found culpable; however, those responsible will be held accountable. I am not the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The report will be out, we will channel the report to all the relevant authorities in the State to ensure everyone that is found culpable is accountable for the act.”

Despite the Lagos State Governor’s insistence on the number of fatalities, a lot of Nigerians do not believe his account of the incident and think that there is some form of an alleged cover-up by government officials. They are still outraged that despite some video evidence and accounts of people that were there, the government is still understating the fatality figures.

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Business News

Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector contracts for 6th consecutive month

The manufacturing sector contracted for the sixth consecutive month as 8 subsectors contracted out of 14.

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Manufacturing: Momentum in activities slows in January, CBN’s forex intervention has encouraged influx of raw materials - Manufacturers , Manufacturing: Activity level slumps on COVID-19

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), for the month of October, witnessed a contraction for the 6th consecutive month, as it stood at 49.4 index points.

This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in its October PMI report released today.

READ: Manufacturing PMI dips further as recession scare looms

READ: FG set to create at least 5 million jobs for youths in the power sector – Minister of Power 

According to the information contained in the report, despite the fact that the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the month of October contracted, the Manufacturing PMI index recorded a month-on-month increase owing to improved New orders, faster manufacturing supplier delivery time, and slight changes in production and employment levels.

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READ: FG meets group to access AfCFTA’s $650 billion market

What you should know

The report stated that, out of the 14 subsectors surveyed, 6 subsectors reported expansion (above 50% threshold) in the review month in the following order:

  • Electrical equipment
  • Transportation equipment
  • Printing & related support activities
  • Chemical & pharmaceutical products
  • Textile, apparel, leather & footwear
  • Cement

READ: Global Stocks rise higher, on positive Chinese manufacturing report

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READ: Nigeria’s inflation rate hits 13.71% as food prices soar

While the remaining 8 subsectors reported contraction (below 50% threshold) in the review month in the following order:

  • Primary metal
  • Petroleum & coal products,
  • Paper products
  • Fabricated metal products
  • Furniture & related products
  • Nonmetallic mineral products
  • Plastics & rubber products
  • Food, beverage & tobacco products

READ: The CBN data that can reveal whether we are already in a recession

PMI for the non-manufacturing sector stood at 46.8 points in October 2020, indicating contraction in Nonmanufacturing PMI for the seventh consecutive month. Of the 17 sub-sectors surveyed, 3 subsectors reported growth, while 11 subsectors declined.

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Corporate deals

CAP Plc set to merge with Portland Paints and Products Plc.

CAP Plc and Portland Paints have taken a decision to merge their respective businesses in accordance with applicable laws.

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CAP Plc

The Board of Directors of Chemical and Allied Products Plc (CAP Plc), and Portland Paints and Products Plc (Portland Paints), have decided to merge their respective businesses in accordance with applicable laws to drive growth and expansion within the Nigerian and African markets.

This is according to a press release signed by Bolarin Okunowo, the Managing Director of Portland Paints, made available on NSE, Monday, 26th October 2020.

READ: Big players in Paints and Coatings industry suffer 52% profit loss in the first 6 months of 2020

The completion of the proposed merger is subject to approvals being obtained from the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Federal High Court, as well as shareholders of CAP and Portland Paints.

READ: Meet the woman winning in a male-dominated paint market 

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What you should know

  • Should the proposed merger go ahead, CAP Plc will emerge as the resultant entity.
  • The proposed merger will be executed by way of a Scheme of Merger (the “Scheme”) in accordance with Section 711 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
  • The Scheme will involve the transfer of all Portland Paints Plc’s assets, liabilities and business undertakings including real property and intellectual property rights to CAP Plc.
  • In consideration for the transfer, CAP Plc is offering shareholders of Portland Paints a choice to receive N2.90 cash for every Portland Paints share held OR 1 new ordinary share of CAP Plc, credited as fully paid up for every 8 Portland Paints shares held.
  • The proposed consideration represents a 45% premium to the last traded share price of Portland Paints Plc on October 16, 2020, being the last business day prior to the date on which CAP Plc sent its merger proposal to the Board of Portland Paints and a 41% premium on the trading price as at close of trading on October 23, 2020.

READ: GNI lists shares on NASD after delisting voluntarily from NSE 

What they are saying

Commenting on the proposed merger, David Wright, Managing Director of CAP, said, “The decision to pursue the proposed merger, is driven by the Board’s strategic plan to aggressively grow within the Nigerian and African markets.

“We believe that the Proposed Merger presents a unique opportunity that will benefit all stakeholders, from shareholders to customers, as well as the broader economy. I am excited by the prospect of an enlarged company with a broader decorative paint portfolio covering the premium, mid-market and affordable segments and the inclusion of marine and protective coatings, all of which will benefit our customers and shareholders.”

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READ: Africa Prudential tops losers list following mark down

The Managing Director of Portland Paints, Bolarin Okunowo, submitted that “In recent months, the Board and Management of Portland Paints have evaluated various strategic options with a view to positioning our company to capture emerging growth opportunities.

“CAP Plc’s business is complementary to ours, and both companies will be better able to serve our respective customers by coming together. I believe the combination of Portland Paints and CAP will yield significant benefits for all of our stakeholders.”

Mutual shareholder

Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc – with 85.98% of the company’s issued share capital owned by UAC Nigeria Plc, manufactures and sells decorative, industrial, and marine/protective coatings for the construction of oil & gas industries in Nigeria. Portland Paints is the Nigerian representative of Hempel. It is listed on the NSE.

Chemical and Allied Products Plc (CAP) – a subsidiary of UAC Nigeria Plc – which holds 51.49% of the company’s shares, manufactures and sells premium and standard paints and coatings, and is the sole technological licensee of Akzo Nobel Coatings International B.V. in Nigeria. It is listed on the NSE.

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