/Texas Blackout Boosts Australian Bank by Up to $215 Million – The Wall Street Journal

Texas Blackout Boosts Australian Bank by Up to $215 Million – The Wall Street Journal


The deep freeze that plunged millions of Texans into darkness last week produced a windfall of up to $215 million for Macquarie Group Ltd. , an Australian investment bank that is active in U.S. power and gas markets.

The extreme weather froze wind turbines and oil-and-gas wells, closed oil refiners and prompted power stations to trip offline, sending a jolt through energy markets. Wholesale power prices rocketed, as did spot prices for natural gas in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.

The turbulence led to a bonanza for Macquarie’s commodity traders, who specialize in sending gas and electricity to clients such as utility companies in unusual situations.

The bank bumped up its guidance Monday for earnings in the year through March to reflect the windfall. It said that net profit after tax would be 5% to 10% higher than in the 2020 fiscal year. That equates to an increase of up to 273.1 million Australian dollars, equivalent to around $215 million. In its previous guidance, issued Feb. 9, Macquarie said it expected profits to be slightly down on 2020.

“Extreme winter weather conditions in North America have significantly increased short-term client demand for Macquarie’s capabilities in maintaining critical physical supply across the commodity complex, and particularly in relation to gas and power,” the bank said.

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