London-based alternative investment manager Caius Capital LLP is Bank of Cyprus’ new major shareholder with 3.09% or 13,785,707 voting rights in its hands.
However, Caius did not acquire shares of the Bank through standard practice but invested instead through Contracts of Difference (CFD). Derivative contracts essentially allow investors to consider whether the price of a share will rise or fall in the future and move accordingly, either by selling or buying.
In the case of Caius, which was set up by Antonio Batista and William Douglas, it appears that the investment fund’s move into Bank of Cyprus is a long-term prospect since the products they acquired and could be converted into shares expire in May 2020 and June 2021 but with the right to an automatic renewal.
At the same time, the move shows that the fund considers the bank’s share will move upwards in the future. This is a particularly important move for the Bank’s share which saw its value fall significantly to even below one euro over the past months, before getting stable again and rising to about €1.3.
Bank of Cyprus’ total number of shares today amount to 446,199,933. Other shareholders with more than 3% are Lamesa Investments (9.27%), EBRD (5.02%), Laiki Bank (4.81%), TD Asset Management (4.01%), Eaton Vance (3.67%), Senvest Management (3.49%) and Osome Investments (3.03%).
Caius Capital is an alternative investment manager focusing on distressed and special situations long and short investments across the capital structure. Their investment universe comprises corporate issuers, financial institutions and sovereigns predominantly within the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.