VW shares jump, sparking questions over 'mystery' buyer

AFP , Friday 9 Oct 2015

Volkswagen stock rose Friday despite the massive global pollution cheating scandal engulfing the group, sparking speculation over a "mystery" buyer snapping up the shares.

Revelations that the German auto giant had fitted 11 million cars with devices aimed at cheating pollution tests have sent the stock plunging to half its value in two weeks, effectively wiping out over 25 billion euros of market capitalisation.

But VW shares staged a strong recovery on Friday, jumping up to 7.19 percent to 124.55 euros in afternoon trade in Frankfurt.

Although several banks put a buy rating on the stock last week, Friday's large movements sparked talk that a major investor was purchasing the stock in bulk.

"It's not insignificant," a market source told AFP.

Daily Bild wrote of a "mysterious jump" and cited market rumours that the Porsche and Piech families -- both major shareholders of Volkswagen group, were in the market to buy.

The rumour is sustained by the fact that it is the ordinary share -- which confers voting rights to the holder -- which is showing a big jump.

The other preferential share offers dividends but gives the holder less say over the company.

The two families, heirs of the inventor of the Beetle and the founder of Volkswagen, have through their holding in Porsche SE a controlling stake of 52.2 percent in VW group.

Immediately after the VW scandal broke, Porsche SE had tightened its grip on the group by purchasing 1.5 percent of Volkswagen shares from Suzuki.

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