DuPont raises 2021 forecast on robust demand from chip, auto makers

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Bloomberg

Secretive Billionaire Kenneth Dart Makes $6.7 Billion Bet on Tobacco Stocks

(Bloomberg) — It took decades for sustainable investing to become mainstream, but now every week one giant investor after another announces their commitment to ESG.Kenneth Dart will not be joining that club.The billionaire is heir to a plastic cup fortune. More than two decades ago he renounced his U.S. citizenship and moved to the Caribbean, becoming the biggest real estate owner in the Cayman Islands. For years he invested in distressed sovereign debt with Argentina’s former President Cristina Kirchner calling him a “vulture.”And over the past six months Dart, 66, has quietly accumulated one of the classic sin investments. Through a Cayman Islands vehicle called Spring Mountain Investments, Dart has built a 7% stake in British American Tobacco that’s now worth $6 billion. Last month, Spring Mountain disclosed a separate $634 million position in rival Imperial Brands. The Financial Times first reported the firm’s tobacco investments.A small portion of the positions were entered into using total return swaps, the filings show. These types of swaps were at the center of the March implosion of family office Archegos Capital Management, causing billions in bank losses.Tobacco WagerSpring Mountain is the latest in a series of entities the publicity-shy Dart has used to buy securities. He previously set up Portfolio Services Ltd., Seneca Investments, EM Ltd., Eastern Capital and LBS Investments. In recent years these have been used to invest in obscure biotechnology stocks that make up a fraction of his fortune, estimated at $6.6 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Susanna de Saram, a representative of Dart’s firm Dart Enterprises, declined to comment on investment decisions.Dart’s tobacco wager goes against one of the hottest trends in finance: Investing in companies that focus on environmental, social and governance factors, which in theory means corporations have long-term sustainable prospects.The tobacco industry has for decades been the antithesis of ESG investment. Dominated by a few corporate behemoths, the companies operate in a market at risk of being quashed by regulation or customers giving up — or dying from — the habit.Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, has been a longtime champion of tobacco-control efforts.While a larger group of investors are shunning the stocks, it can create opportunities for those less concerned with the societal outcomes of their portfolio.Dividend YieldsTobacco stocks “were a one-way ticket up until around 2016” before concerns about new regulation, especially in the U.S., began discouraging investors, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Duncan Fox.Over the past five years, the MSCI World Tobacco Index has dropped 32%. That’s punished long-term holders, but has juiced the dividends the stocks pay. British American Tobacco and Imperial…



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