ShareSoc Blog

This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

There is more news given in the News page of our web site and more analysis of news is provided in our monthly newsletter for members – see the Newsletters page.

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Blancco Campaign Update #4

Campaign members will recall that the restatements of the Blancco accounts for year ending June 2016 and other accounting corrections led to a loss of over £135 million in shareholder value. The previous CEO exercised Stock Appreciation Rights prior to the disclosure of these restatements. ShareSoc referred these issues to the Financial Conduct Authority in January 2018 and, as far as the audit by KPMG was concerned to the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England & Wales (ICAEW) in February 2018. ICAEW ...

Shenanigans in Siberia: the Petropavlovsk Saga and Why Retail Investors Matter

One of ShareSoc’s key beliefs is that private investors are important and their voice needs to be heard. The current, for want of a better word, shenanigans, at Petropavlovsk (POG) gives private investors a key role in determining the future of a company. Background Books could be written about POG, and probably deserve to be. It is a gold miner in Siberia, whose shares rose to above £5 in 2011, before collapsing under the weight of debt and being rescued by an emergency ...

Capital Gains Tax Reform? Surely Long Overdue

CGT Review Last week the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) announced a review of Capital Gains Tax. They have invited evidence and there is a simple on-line survey you can complete on the subject (see link below). As someone who occasionally pays capital gains tax, I give you my views on the subject below. It is of course a horribly complex tax with several different rates and numerous exemptions. I need to employ an accountant to work out my self-assessment tax returns when ...

Albion Venture Capital VCT – AGM recommendations

Following a successful engagement led by ShareSoc (Tim Grattan and Cliff Weight led this Campaign) we agreed a compromise with the Directors and agreed to support the new proposals. The annual report has now been published and contains the following description of the way the Board engaged following the 2019 AGM. New management performance incentive At the General Meeting held on 21 August 2019, an ordinary resolution was proposed to approve the changes to the Company’s Management Agreement, as detailed in the circular sent to shareholders on ...

Festival of Property Funds from QuotedData

For those of you who are interested in property funds, I came across this interesting looking series of webinars hosted by QuotedData and taking place over the next 3 weeks - It covers a good range of property funds, trusts and REITs and might be worth a look.  Mike Dennis

It Pays to Take Note of Shorters

An article by ShareSoc member Michael Taylor In light of the recent Burford Capital judgement that my friend Paul de Gruchy has written about in detail here, this has led to much debate about shorting, some of which I hope to add to here in this article. Is shorting bad? Yes and no. It can be. A broker who goes short on a stock then offers to conduct an equity placing for the same company in order to close their position is clearly blatant ...

RBS Virtual Shareholder Event, Thursday 16 July 2020

I am looking forward to this virtual shareholder event and have registered. RBS had a closed AGM (due to Covid) and promised this event for retail shareholders so they could ask the questions they would have liked to have asked at the AGM. Now is your chance to listen to RBS management and ask your questions. To secure your place, please register by 10th July here if you know your SRN (shareholder registration number which you can find on your share certificate). You will then receive a confirmation ...

Laggard Laggard: Another example of Show of Hands without attendance at Forterra plc AGM

Forterra plc held their meeting on 14 May 2020 and resolutions were passed by way of a show of hands, and yet, the provisions for the meeting were as follows: “As a result, shareholders are not permitted to attend the AGM in person and will not be admitted.  Questions can be submitted to your Board by e-mail to it is our intention to arrange a conference call with our Chief Executive and Chief Financial officers once the current crisis has passed.” So that ...

Redcentric: Unprecedented Progress for Shareholders – At Last

Two Cheers for the FCA in the Case of Redcentric Two cheers for the FCA: they have achieved a positive outcome for shareholders affected by the case, and have been pragmatic, albeit after a very long time. It is also good to see the other objective of our campaign potentially achieved - of prosecuting individuals for their alleged misdemeanors. Such actions are essential to deter others from criminal activity. Background Redcentric has been an extraordinary case. They key issues at the time when serious ...

Enhancing Our Webinars

ShareSoc has been working hard to continue to offer opportunities to hear from and interact with executives of quoted and listed companies, despite the constraints Covid-19 has been placing on all our lives. Therefore, instead of our usual monthly “Growth Company Seminars”, we now offer online webinars with companies that may be of interest to investors. These have proved very popular, not only eliminating the transmission risks of in person meetings, but also offering the convenience of attending without leaving your own ...
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