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Toon boss gambles away £129m

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ASHLEY'S A LOSER

 

EXCLUSIVE By JAMES WEATHERUP

 

BILLIONAIRE Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has lost an astonishing £129million gambling on financial markets in the City.

 

And that could spark fears Ashley, who bought the club last May, is on the brink of selling out at St James' Park.

 

The tycoon (right) suffered the amazing losses after a series of poor bets on the value of crisis-hit Halifax Bank of Scotland stock.

 

The mind-boggling losses were revealed after HBOS was at the centre of false rumours it was about to collapse and millions of pounds were wiped off its share price on Wednesday.

 

Ashley, 44, has always pledged his long-term commitment to Newcastle but now Toon insiders believe he is weighing up a deal to sell.

 

Newcastle fans will be stunned to hear about Ashley's giant loss. While it hardly leaves him on skid row, it won't help Newcastle's morale as they battle to haul themselves clear of the relegation zone.

 

Despite Saturday's 2-0 win over Fulham in which Mark Viduka was on target, the club are still at the wrong end of the table.

Gambled

 

A City insider explained: "Mike should have got out a long time ago when the extent of mortgage debt in America was made clear last year.

 

"It has effected all the markets and HBOS is just one of them.

 

"When the stock was priced at £8.80, he gambled £300,000 a point for each penny rise or fall. If the price rose a penny he would get £300,000 but if it fell he would lose that amount."

 

Ashley gambled on IG Index, a spread betting firm in the financial sector. The firm do not buy or sell shares, just take bets on whether the market is going to go up or down. And in Ashley's case his wagers have been nothing short of catastrophic.

 

His win and loss accounts make nightmare reading. After the dramatic crash this week HBOS was at one point trading at £3.98 before making a recovery.

 

But the shares had still lost nearly 50 per cent of their value since Ashley started gambling on their value going up in October. Despite a couple of £10m-plus wins in November last year he ended with a net loss of over £10m after the first month's trading.

Blowing

 

Between November and December 1 he lost about £14m and between December and January £20m.

 

Ashley nearly steadied the ship between January and February, cutting his losses to £39m, but then he lost another £29m.

 

After Wednesday's freefall of HBOS shares — 17 per cent (or £3billion) was wiped off their value in just 15 minutes — Ashley's total losses, including this month's trading so far, add up to a mind-blowing £129m.

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Admittedly, spread-betting on banking shares is not exactly the greatest deal on the planet, this has nothing to do with the club. And if his contract for difference on the HBOS shares is longer-term, he could be very, very wealthy in 3 years time although margin on his account will use up a lot of his funds.

 

Losing £129m is shitty, but it happens. It's not such a blow when you still have hundreds of millions in the bank in cold, hard cash.

 

Didn't Ashley rake in about £60m on Adidas shares in a few weeks?

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:razz: What an absolute joke, Ashley makes and loses vast sums of cash all the time that's the business he's in. I'd be far more worried if I was a Liverpool or Man Utd fan the way their owners seem to like the idea of putting their debts (and their American franchises debts) onto the clubs.

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Guest alex
Why do I detect more bullshit from the Sunday rags who don't have a 'Newcastle lose AGAIN' story to shift papers?

Spot on. They'll be gutted we didn't lose yesterday.

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utter rubbish , if he was spreadbetting like that he'd be well aware of the outcome if it went against him , i cant for one second belive he'd do that if it meant parting with investments to cover the gamble .

sounds more like its just been a punt went bad (if its true) and he's got more than enough money to cover that without even considering selling nufc , he bought us outright , not bank loans like other owner have , so even if needs be he could always stick us on a loan , but again i call BS .

hardly supprising its the news of the world with this and the martins story today .

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Ooh an "Ashley selling NUFC" story, we haven't had one of them being made up for a little while, must be because we won and are likely heading to safety so they need to stir up some more shit becasue they're sad, pathetic little pricks.

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HBOS shares have gained as much as 17% after it emerged that management bought £6m worth of shares in the bank.

The rise was the biggest one-day gain since the UK's biggest mortgage lender listed in 2001 as traders saw the move as a vote of confidence in the bank.

 

Last week, its shares plunged by a similar amount after "malicious rumours" it was in financial trouble.

 

Other UK banks, including Barclays, also rose, lifted by the improved offer for troubled US bank Bear Stearns.

 

Royal Bank of Scotland closed up 9.3%, Barclays rose 7%,and Lloyds TSB gained 6.3%.

 

After its early peak, HBOS ended up 15% at 544.50 pence.

 

On Tuesday, stock markets in the UK began their first day of trading after the four-day Easter break, while US stock markets were open on Monday.

 

"Today is all about Bear Stearns", said Martin Slaney at GFT Global Markets.

 

On Monday, JP Morgan Chase raised its offer for Bear Stearns to $10 (£5) a share from $2 a share in the hope that the improved terms would satisfy shareholders angry at the lower offer.

 

Fragile sentiment

 

The Federal Reserve engineered rescue of one of Wall Street's biggest banks came after it ran into trouble because of its sub-prime US mortgage debt and other banks refused to lend to it.

 

This caused panic in stock markets worldwide as investors considered which other banks may be next to fall.

 

Last Wednesday, shares in HBOS, which owns the Halifax and Bank of Scotland, dived as the UK stock market opened for trading.

 

Shares fell as low as 17% at one point amid speculation that it had approached the Bank of England for emergency funds.

 

HBOS denied the rumours, calling them ill-founded and malicious.

 

The UK's financial watchdog, the FSA, is investigating whether the rumours had been deliberately spread to undermine the value of bank shares.

 

The ebullient mood in the financial sector helped to boost the UK benchmark FTSE 100 stock index.

 

The FTSE 100 ended up 193.9 points, or 3.5%, at 5,689.1.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7312479.stm

 

where are the headlines about ashley making millions today then ? :lol:

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Guest BigThompers

The title of that article doesn't disguise the fact that they are blatantly just wanting to slag us.

 

'Ashley's a loser' :lol: ffs

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