From riches to rags: Norwegian trader’s €114m bet backfires

Einar Aas, among Norway’s richest men, to liquidate estate after bullish punt goes awry

Einear Aas said last week the default would probably lead to personal bankruptcy.

Einear Aas said last week the default would probably lead to personal bankruptcy.


Nasdaq’s Nordic commodities exchange has reached agreement on the sale of assets belonging to a private trader who defaulted on his commitments last week, it said on Friday.

One of Norway’s richest men blew a €114 million hole in a stability fund that ensures the safety of derivatives trading in European electricity markets. Norwegian derivatives trader Einar Aas staked large bets on the power market and left Nasdaq’s Nordic clearing house rattled when his funds ran dry.

Within just two working days of the default, members of the exchange, and Nasdaq itself, were forced to replenish the funds in order to continue trading.

While Mr Aas had run out of cash, he still owns real estate and other assets that could be sold.

“Nasdaq would like to inform our members and clients that Mr Aas and his lawyers have agreed to submit to a consensual arrangement with creditors to liquidate Mr Aas’s estate,” said Nasdaq Clearing Commodities on Friday.

Funds recovered via the process will be distributed to default fund participants on a pro rata basis, it added.

“Nasdaq would support liquidation of the assets in a swift and timely manner consistent with realisation of maximum value for members and will liaise with members in relation to this matter,” said the exchange.

Nasdaq also added it had hired management consulting firm Oliver Wyman to review the clearing unit’s risk management practices.

Last week, Mr Aas said the default would probably lead to personal bankruptcy and that he did not want to make further public comments on the case. – Reuters