More than £1 billion ($1.6 billion) was wiped off the value of Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) during trading on Tuesday, as its share price fell by one third to 228.5p. Some of those losses have been recovered on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, with the shares currently changing hands at 275p.
The falls were attrributed to Tuesday’s comments by the Iraqi government regarding ExxonMobil‘s decision, expected in the coming days, on its contracts in Kurdistan Regional Government.
GKP has been seen as a potential takeover target following Exxon Mobil’s agreement with the KRG, and some regard the sharp fall in its share price as a sign that some speculative premium is leaking away.
Sentiment was also not helped by some bearish comments in an analysts’ report from HSBC.