The Strategist

Carlos Ghosn arrested, Nissan, Mitsubishi shares collapse in the first minutes of trading

11/20/2018 - 14:16

Arrest of the chairman of the board of directors Carlos Ghosn questioned the future of the alliance between Nissan and its French partner Renault.

The scandal surrounding the chairman of the board of directors of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, led to a drop in shares of the Japanese automaker at the opening of stock trading in Tokyo. In the first minutes, papers of the companies lost 6.25%, dropping to the lowest level in the current year - 943 yen apiece.

Mitsubishi shares lost more than 7% at the beginning of the trading session. On the eve, the company announced that it would offer to immediately remove Ghosn from his post as chairman of the board of directors and director of the representative of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.

Ghosn is also the chairman and CEO of the French partner Nissan Renault, and his arrest cast doubt on the future of their alliance.

Renault owns 43.4% of Nissan, while Nissan owns 15% of Renault, without the right to vote in a partnership that began in 1999. Since 2016, Nissan has a 34% controlling stake in its smaller Japanese competitor, Mitsubishi.

Although most analysts believe that the arrest of Ghosn will not destroy the alliance, they note that the automakers are too highly integrated at lower levels than the leadership. This will allow the conglomerate to function further.

However, the scandal dealt a serious blow to the capitalization of the French automaker. European investors reacted to the arrest of Ghosn on Monday: Renault shares fell 11% in Paris. In addition, Nissan shares in Germany showed a decline of 10%.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the government, the main shareholder of the French automaker, will closely monitor Renault and its alliance with Nissan.