Billionaires: Activist investor Carl Icahn plans to invest $ 1 billion in cryptocurrencies
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has a “big” interest in cryptocurrencies and could potentially invest more than $ 1 billion in an alternative currency.
Although Mr Icahn has yet to buy any digital assets, he said he is studying Bitcoin, Ethereum and the cryptocurrency industry to determine where the opportunities lie.
Alternative currencies are becoming popular as a natural manifestation of inflation in the economy, and any criticism of cryptocurrency with no underlying value is a “bit of a misunderstanding,” he said.
“Well, what’s the value of a dollar?” The only value in the dollar is because you can use it to pay taxes, ”he said. “I look at the whole business and how I might get involved. ”
Mr Icahn also said he believed people were looking for alternative currencies because parts of the stock market are traded at “ridiculous prices.”
He referred not only to those that are pushed up like so-called memes stocks, but also to certain strategies offered by fund managers.
“I don’t think Reddit and Robinhood and those guys are necessarily bad. I think they serve a purpose, ”said Icahn.
“The money is returning to businesses. Some of these companies may be doing well, but for a number of them the risk-reward ratio is absurd. “
Larry Chen, the former schoolteacher in a poor Chinese village who has become one of the richest people in the world, is on the verge of losing his billionaire status as part of his online education business.
GSX Techedu fell 4% in New York exchanges on Wednesday after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock’s rating and lowered its price target. Shares have fallen 88% since late January, wiping out about $ 14 billion from Mr. Chen’s fortune and leaving him with a net worth of around $ 1.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The company has been rocked by a series of issues, including increased scrutiny of China’s education sector, weaker-than-expected financial outlook and the implosion of one of its investors, Archegos Capital Management.
“Political risk is the number one concern right now,” said Tommy Wong, Hong Kong-based analyst at China Merchants Securities International, who gives the stock a “buy” rating.
A GSX spokesperson declined to comment on the fall in the company’s stock price or Mr. Chen’s wealth.
Political risk is the number one concern right now
Tommy Wong, analyst at China Merchants Securities International
China’s education sector is under increased scrutiny after President Xi Jinping suggested in March that an increase in after-school tutoring puts enormous pressure on children. The country’s education ministry plans to create for the first time a division dedicated to regulating all private education platforms.
In April, GSX was among four private education providers fined up to 500,000 yuan ($ 78,198) for using false or misleading prices to attract customers.
It was a major headache for Mr. Chen, who owns around 44% of GSX, at a time when his company’s shares were already hit by weaker-than-expected prospects. GSX shares fell last month after the company gave second quarter earnings guidance that missed analysts’ average estimate.
Archegos, the family office run by Bill Hwang, collapsed in March after failing to respond to margin calls. The investment firm had built highly leveraged positions in GSX and other companies using swaps.
When some of those stocks fell, the banks demanded collateral that Mr. Hwang was unable to provide, so they offloaded large blocks of GSX and other stocks. GSX fell 56% in one day.
The widow of Czech billionaire Petr Kellner has been listed as the largest shareholder in telecommunications company O2 Czech Republic and Moneta Money Bank, regulatory documents said last week in ongoing succession proceedings.
Kellner’s death in a helicopter crash on a ski trip to Alaska in March sparked one of the largest transfers of private wealth to the former communist countries of Central Europe since the transition to democracy there has three decades.
His investment group PPF said his widow, Renata Kellnerova, was appointed administrator of the estate during the proceedings.
“As such, it is listed as the holder of relevant state-owned enterprises subject to the regulation of the Czech National Bank. [Ms Kellnerova’s] the appointment as administrator of the estate does not mean that the succession process is over yet, ”he said.
The March crash came as PPF, of which Kellner held 98.9%, pursued one of the Czech Republic’s largest bank mergers since the early 2000s to take a controlling stake in Moneta.
Kellner had a net worth of $ 17.5 billion at the time of his death, according to Forbes.
To meet regulatory requirements, Ms Kellnerova was listed as the beneficial owner of PPF’s stakes in Moneta and O2 in the Czech Republic, controlling 29.94% and 83.5% respectively, according to the documents.
PPF said Ms Kellnerova would be a family representative on a newly formed executive committee to advise Ladislav Bartonicek, a minority shareholder of PPF who runs the business after Kellner’s death.
Kellner founded PPF in the early 1990s and has grown into a global player with assets worth € 39.7 billion ($ 48.3 billion) at the end of last year in sectors such as telecommunications, real estate, finance and engineering in Europe and Asia.
The group recorded a loss of 291 million euros last year against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, which hit its consumer credit business, the first loss in its history.
PPF agreed with Moneta this month to combine their Czech lending assets and create a banking group to compete with the country’s major banks.
Kim Jung-ju, 53, the billionaire behind Nexon, is having a hectic month.
Shares of the Tokyo-listed games company have fallen 21% since forecasting lower profits on May 12, suggesting that its strong performance when the Covid-19 pandemic kept people indoors will not be not maintained as some countries reopen.
This wiped out about $ 1.9 billion from the South Korean entrepreneur’s net worth, reducing his fortune to $ 8.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
On top of that, Mr. Kim’s diversification away from gaming into markets such as cryptocurrency faces hurdles. Bitcoin has fallen about 38% since it hit a record high in April, a stark example of online coin price swings that have left some mainstream investors skeptical.
Mr. Kim is a strong supporter of digital currencies and has acquired cryptocurrency exchanges in recent years. Nexon also bought $ 100 million worth of Bitcoin last month.
Last year was a high base and they are not going to duplicate that
Matthew Kanterman, Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence
“It had to go down,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman said of Nexon’s earnings forecast. “Last year was a high base and they’re not going to duplicate that.”
On Bitcoin, “companies don’t like to buy things with too much volatility,” he said, suggesting that Nexon probably wouldn’t add to his purchase at this time.
Even before Nexon bought Bitcoin, Mr. Kim’s holding company NXC, which owns roughly half of Nexon, bought out 65% of Korbit, a cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, in 2017.
The following year, NXC’s subsidiary in Europe acquired another cryptocurrency exchange: Luxembourg-based Bitstamp.
Korbit’s book value plunged to about 3.1 billion won ($ 2.8 million) at the end of last year, from about 96 billion won at the end of 2017, according to NXC financial statements. for 2017 and 2020. A spokesperson for NXC said there was no plan to sell the exchanges he bought.
Mr Kim was also keen to acquire Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest online currency exchange offices, according to local media earlier this year. The NXC spokesperson declined to comment.
Mr. Kim declined to be interviewed while Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon, was unavailable for comment.
Mr. Kim founded Nexon in South Korea in 1994 after majoring in computer science and engineering at Seoul National University.
In 2011, Nexon is listed in Japan. The company, which is famous for successful titles such as Maple history and KartRider, posted net income attributable to owners of his parents of 69.7 billion yen ($ 639 million) in the first six months of last year, as lockdowns forced people to spend more time in the House.