The BP stocks are getting bashed with a variety of rumors as to the cause. One of the main triggers is a Fortune article, which quotes oil industry veteran Matt Simmons who says BP has about a month left before they declare Chapter 11. Among the top 5 shareholders in the oil giant is the Norwegian Government Pension Fund.
“They have about a month before they declare Chapter 11. They’re going to run out of cash from lawsuits, cleanup and other expenses.”
At the moment the BP stocks are down by more than 11% at New York Stock Exchange. Speculation about a Chapter 11 filing is just one of several rumors buzzing around on Wall Street right now, an other is that BP has hired a bankruptcy lawyer. But this is still just speculations. However, day traders are probably having a great time!
For more than 35 years, Simmons has run a Texas-based boutique investment bank, Simmons & Co., which specializes in the energy industry. At times, with his somewhat doom-and -loom-like take on things, there’s a hint of conspiracy theorist in his tone.
But it’s hard to ignore that Simmons is deeply connected and has been pretty much right on in the past.
These days, Simmons has been weighing in on BP (BP) and the worst oil spill in U.S. history, following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
As BP struggles to permanently stop the gush of oil, Simmons has been warning that the scale of the spill is much bigger and that there’s a larger leak several miles away.
On question of how he see the future of BP, he says:
“They have about a month before they declare Chapter 11. They’re going to run out of cash from lawsuits, cleanup and other expenses. One really smart thing that Obama did was about three weeks ago he forced BP CEO Tony Hayward to put in writing that BP would pay for every dollar of the cleanup. But there isn’t enough money in the world to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Once BP realizes the extent of this my guess is that they’ll panic and go into Chapter 11.”
According to Zero Hedge, the other rumor which is gaining traction, is that BP has hired a bankruptcy lawyer.
But as ZH points out:
“Seeing how today was the 1,293,498th time the Radioshack LBO rumor pushed the stock higher, all this media rumormongering should certainly be taken with a blob of oil.”
Another Lucky Bet?
As it turns out; wherever there’s a bankruptcy, there’s Norwegian tax payers money involved.
Lehman Brothers, Greece, Spain, you name it….
More than 10% of the nearly NOK 3 trillion fund is invested in the PIIGS countries, and almost 50% are invested in the Chinese equity market who recently entered a so-called “bear marked.”
And when it comes to BP, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global is the fourth largest shareholder in the company with a 1,8% ownership.
Here’s the list of the top 10 BP investors:
The world’s biggest asset management company is based in New York and owns 5.9pc of the shares.
The UK insurer and asset manager owns 4pc of the shares.
The asset manager, which is owned by BlackRock, owns 3.8pc of the shares.
The asset manager manages the money generated from Norway’s oil revenues and owns 1.8pc of the shares.
The UK asset manager, owned by the Prudential, owns 1.67pc of the shares.
The Scottish insurance company owns 1.5pc of the shares.
The Los Angeles-based fund owns 1.3pc of the shares.
The fund manager owned by Lloyds Banking Group owns 1.13pc of the shares.
China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange:
The body that manages China’s $2.4 trillion of foreign-exchange reserves owns 1.1pc.
(Data from Bloomberg as of June 3.)
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- The Gulf Coast oil spill’s Dr. Doom (money.cnn.com)
- BP Takes Heat on Dividend (online.wsj.com)
- Gulf Oil Disaster Likely Much Worse Than Estimates (pamil-visions.net)
- Why BP CEO Tony Hayward hasn’t been fired yet. (slate.com)
- Dividend worries weigh on BP shares (seattletimes.nwsource.com)