The Biggest Short-Squeeze in History

Bloomberg (and many others - it's impossible not to report this story) reports about the short squeeze on the Volkswagen stocks.

Basically, the stock was up about 100% after a couple of hours of trading today, which makes an increase of about 500% in 24 hours. The price of the stock rocketed from about 200€ to about 1000€ giving the company a market cap of about 320 billion euros, that is more than double the market cap of Microsoft and triple the one of General Electric (one could argue that GE is on the brink of bankruptcy anyway...). Today, Volkswagen is the biggest company on the planet in terms of market cap. Of course, this is totally artificial.

This in turn makes the German DAX 30 fly at +10%.

This short squeeze occured as Porsche announced it has increased its stake in the company to 74%, and Germany's Lower Saxony holds about 20% of the stocks, which reduces the floating shares to about 6%.

One could argue that the regulators and authorities have failed, since a company with a floating stake of 6% only shouldn't be public anymore and hence, they should have removed Volkswagen from listing (probably by forcing Porsche or Saxony to buy the remaining shares).

In the meantime, losses to hedge-funds and other arbitragers are probably north of hundreds of millions and the whole thing creates a major distortions in European indices since these same investors/speculators need to dump other shares and take losses to raise funds and close their shorts.

1 comment:

pej said...

Andrian Ash has posted a story about this as well here