Funds snapped up Bank of Ireland stakes in Friday crash

AKO Capital, a $9.5bn London-based hedge fund, has taken a 3pc stake in Bank of Ireland, securing its holding in the company last Friday as equities slumped on the back of the Brexit vote.

It’s the first time that AKO has held a notifiable interest in the Irish bank, it’s understood.
Shares in Bank of Ireland were the heaviest hit in the stockmarket rout that occurred last Friday and on Monday following the Brexit vote, with the stock slumping almost 40pc at one point.

AKO Capital has notified the stock exchange that it has built its 3pc stake through contracts for difference (CFDs) – instruments that allow investors to bet on shares rising or falling, without actually owning the underlying shares outright.
AKO confirmed that it had breached the 3pc level in Bank of Ireland last Friday.

US-based Capital Group has also boosted its stake in Bank of Ireland. It held 6.55pc of the bank prior to last Thursday’s Brexit vote, but breached the 7pc mark last Friday.
Bank of Ireland’s shares fell more than 24pc at one stage last Friday.

Peter Towler, a partner at AKO Capital, declined to comment about the firm’s stake in Bank of Ireland.
“It is our general policy not to discuss our investments or process,” he said.

AKO was established in 2005 by Nikolai Tangen. He was previously a Partner at Egerton Capital, and also worked with Cazenove as an analyst. A Norwegian, he is now one of the UK’s richest people, with a £288m fortune.
Bank of Ireland shares were under pressure again yesterday, falling almost 3pc by lunchtime.

Earnings at Bank of Ireland’s UK wing could fall by 6pc next year and as much as 17pc in 2018, Davy Stockbrokers warned. And Davy said a dividend from the bank to shareholders due next year will be lower than expected.

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