Crispin Odey’s hedge fund firm has bucked the green investing trend by backing a Norwegian oil company – and betting against a renewable energy stock.
One of the City Brexiteer’s top fund managers, James Hanbury, has put investors’ money into £7.9billion firm Aker BP.
According to documents seen by The Mail on Sunday, Hanbury bought the stock because of its low price, high quality management team and potential for cost-cutting. Meanwhile, Hanbury has bet that the share price of Ballard Power will fall. Ballard is a Canadian firm that develops fuel cells for electric cars and machinery.
A source said he was ‘short-selling’ the stock because the price of some so-called clean energy companies had been overrated. Hanbury runs Brook Absolute Return and Brook Developed Markets funds, which are part of Odey Asset Management. His other ‘short’ bets include Hello Fresh, a meal kit delivery company.
Hanbury is also betting against an American education technology company Chegg, Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla, and US exercise bike maker Peloton.
Both the Absolute Return and Developed Markets funds are up by more than 15 per cent this year.
The Odey name was dropped from both funds after billionaire founder Crispin Odey stepped down as chief executive, saying he wanted to focus on managing funds. The firm renamed some products with the new ‘Brook’ brand, including Hanbury’s funds.
Odey, 62, was cleared this March of assaulting a female junior banker in 1998 near his home in Chelsea, South-West London. Hanbury has also invested in National Grid. The firm that runs the electricity transmission network and is headquartered in Warwick, has a 5.5 per cent dividend yield. According to the documents, the growth in renewable power and electric vehicles will require more investment in the grid.
The manager is also backing companies in the UK construction sector, including Travis Perkins, Wickes Group and Breedon.