Ebullio Exits 'Impossible' Physical Metals Trading

Sep 4 2013 | 12:25pm ET

In the wake of a court-order to liquidate its Commodity Master Fund, Ebullio Capital Management is quitting the physical metals business.

The British-based hedge fund said it would exit physical metals trading, citing sharply lower profit margins and the difficulty of competing with the industry's largest players.

"It's a market that's been sewn up by banks and trade houses, and others can't operate," Ebullio founder Lars Steffensen told Reuters. "That's OK, that's business, but we can choose not to be in that business."

Steffensen said that the loss of bank financing has cut margins on a typical copper trade by 90%, from 80% per year to 8%, with warehousing prices cutting that to just 1% to 2%.

"Today, because of low interest rates and ownership of warehouses by banks and trade houses, it's become impossible to obtain metal in the spot market outside of warehouses—or you have to pay very high premiums, so it's prohibitive," Steffensen said. Global regulators are looking into whether banks are artificially boosting metal prices by hoarding commodities in their warehouses.

Ebullio has shifted to commodity futures trading. The firm manages US$250 million and its Far East Commodity Fund returned 16.46% last month.

Also in August, a Cayman Islands judge ordered the liquidation of Ebullio's former flagship, Commodity Master, to pay damages to Noble Group stemming from an alleged breach of contract. That fund, which lost 96% in the first two months of 2010, was to be shuttered anyway, Steffensen said.


In Depth

Fitch Says Alternative Asset Managers 'Stable' Despite Dry Powder

Nov 20 2014 | 9:30am ET

Ratings agency Fitch says the outlook for seven publicly traded alternative asset...

Lifestyle

Cohen Buys $101 Million Sculpture

Nov 12 2014 | 9:17am ET

Steven Cohen was the sole bidder for a rare Alberto Giacometti sculpture at Sotheby...

Guest Contributor

Why The Big Money Is Going To Europe

Nov 14 2014 | 6:03am ET

Peer-to-peer lending was invented with the individual investor in mind. But despite...

 

Sponsored Content

    For Hedge Funds, Mastering Data Is Key To Success

    Nov 4 2014 | 9:45am ET

    Data management is important to every business, but for hedge funds, it is critical. FINalternatives recently asked Peter Sanchez, CEO of Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services, how fund managers can deal with the demands of managing data while at the same time remain transparent and abide by operational best practices. Read more…

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

November 2014 Cover

Building a better market

Reg NMS created a huge bifurcation in equity markets and while much of what has followed has been positive, in terms of lower fees and greater liquidity, many traders would like to see the market come...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.