Porsche makes €6.83bn on VW options

This was an even higher result than the previous business year, when it made €3.59 billion on options.

The gains on options represent a large proportion of the overall profit of the Porsche Group for the year, which was €8.6 billion for 2007/08 as compared to €5.86 billion for 2006/07.

"The above-average jump in profit was again due to special influences in connection with the holdings in Volkswagen," Porsche said in a statement.

It is believed Porsche's disclosures on October 26 about the amount of cash-settled options it held contributed to price volatility of Volkswagen's shares after they quadrupled in value and then fell by almost half over a three-day period. Volkswagen's equity price rose to €1005.01 on October 28 from €210.52 on October 24. It then plummeted back down again to close at €512 on October 29.

Porsche announced on October 26 that it held 42.6% of ordinary shares and 31.5% in cash-settled options on ordinary shares to hedge against price risks, representing an effective total stake of 74.1% in Volkswagen. This was more than the 35.14% shareholding Porsche had disclosed on September 16.

The surge in Volkswagen's share price is widely attributed to short sellers trying to close out their positions from a smaller pool of shares than they previously thought were available.

The German financial regulator, BaFin, launched a formal investigation last week into market manipulation of Volkswagen's shares and said the probe could lead to administrative or criminal sanctions.

See also: German regulator investigates Volkswagen shares manipulation
Porsche attributes bumper profits to options trades
Corporate profile: Cautious Porsche

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