Shares of Australia’s Washington H Soul Pattinson and Co (WHSP) emerged as one of the top losers on the benchmark after the conglomerate reallocated about A$1 billion ($637 million) in capital away from equity markets.
The company, also known as Soul Patts allocated the funds to private equity and structured yield portfolio investments unrelated to equity markets, underscoring the weak investor interest in low-yielding stocks.
The 118-year old investment house also reallocated A$900 million to “alternative investments,” ending the last fiscal year with a private equity portfolio of A$1.2 billion.
Shares of Washington H Soul fell as much as 8.2% to A$31.2 and were set for their worst day since March 2020 amid investor concerns over the conglomerate’s prospects.
Meanwhile the slump in Soul Patts triggered a sharp sell off in local property developer and building materials maker Brickworks BKW.AX, in which the investment house holds an over 40% stake
“The sell-off today was mainly due to concerns about Brickworks’ profitability, given the lagging effects of interest rates and consumers depleting their savings as construction activity fell,” said Jessica Amir, a market strategist at Moomoo.