Tuesday 17 November 2020 5:44 pm

Rishi Sunak refuses to disclose whether he will profit from Moderna vaccine

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has refused to disclose whether he will profit from a surge in Moderna’s share price, after the US biotech firm yesterday announced its coronavirus vaccine proved almost 95 per cent effective in trials.

Sunak was a founding partner of London-based hedge fund Theleme Partners — a major investor in Moderna — before leaving in 2013 to enter a career in British politics.

Stock market filings show Theleme has a $500m (£377m) investment in Moderna, which accounts for around 20 per cent of the total $2.5bn-worth of shares it manages.

It is unclear whether the chancellor maintained any investment in the hedge fund following his departure. The company is registered in the Cayman Islands — a tax haven which does not require companies to make their accounts public.

Sunak last year declared in a list of ministers’ interests that he was the beneficiary of a blind trust, the contents of which have not been disclosed.

But Sunak today refused to disclose whether his investments included a stake in either Theleme’s fund or Moderna when his blind trust was created.

A Treasury spokesman said: “The Cabinet Office has set out what are judged to be the relevant interests in the regular list of ministerial interests.”

It comes after Moderna’s announcement yesterday that its experimental coronavirus vaccine had outperformed expectations in late-stage clinical trials pushed Wall Street to record highs.

Moderna shares hiked more than nine per cent, boosting the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 of US small-cap stocks to fresh heights.

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference last night, health secretary Matt Hancock announced the UK had secured an initial batch of 5m doses of the vaccine following crunch talks yesterday.

Moderna has signed advance purchase deals with the EU, Canada, Japan and the US – which has committed to paying $1.5bn for 100m doses.