The “Reddit Effect” Replicated In The Spanish Stock Market

Tubacex's record ordersSpanish Tubacex, manufacturer

At the end of last month on Wall Street, retailers organized in the Reddit forum focused their objective for boosting the stock market value of GameStop (the largest physical video game store in the US). This involved massively buying shares, causing losses of up to $14 billion in one day for large investment funds that were betting on the fall. It didn’t take long for Reddit imitators to emerge all over the world, including in Spain.

Specifically, in our country, the social network Telegram has been crowded with groups to buy and sell shares in a coordinated way. The Tubacex case (Spanish steel pipe manufacturing company) has been the first target of this group of imitators known in Telegram as “Spanish WS Bets.” After soaring 15% in the stock market following that move, Tubacex has caught the attention of the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). For the moment, the CNMV claims not to have seen anything suspicious in the stock price. Apart from Tubacex, assets with suspicious movements include silver and several cryptocurrencies.

The CNMV already warned that a phenomenon such as the GameStop case in Spain would constitute market manipulation, with fines of up to 30 million euros up to 6 years imprisonment. However, the truth is that experts are talking about a legal vacuum.

This only leads to even more uncertainty due to the volatility of shares in the Ibex 35 index. It faces the possibility of replicas through massive purchases of shares simultaneously orchestrated by the aforementioned Telegram group.

In recent days, Tubacex has announced several measures to adjust the workforce in its factories to the current market situation of reduced investments and, therefore, of its order book. These measures include the reduction of 150 jobs as well as a Layoff Plan for 650 jobs in the Llodio and Amurrio plants.

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.