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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 #3

Campaign members will be aware that Blancco has published its Report and Accounts for year ending June 2019. They show an improved performance and positive cash flow. As ever, the accounts are complex, with significant adjustments. The bottom line is only positive owing to “post tax profit from discontinued operations”. Goodwill and other intangible assets exceed the book value of shareholders’ equity. Having said that, the new CEO and new CFO seem to have got a grip and boosted revenues. Post ...

Lloyds Shareholders Lose Case

After many months of deliberation, a judge in the High Court has rejected the claims by former Lloyds TSB shareholders over the takeover of HBOS and recapitalisation of the company by the Government. That resulted in major capital losses to Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) shareholders and suspension of the dividends which many private shareholders relied on for income. For those not familiar with the case, this stems from the events in 2008/9 when all banks came under severe financial pressure. HBOS was ...

One in 10 investment trust board directors have no ‘skin in the game’

By Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director The new remuneration guidelines from the Investment Association have this to say about Share Ownership: Non-Executive Shareholding Shareholders encourage non-executive directors to own shares in the company. Chairs and non- executives may receive part of their fees in shares bought at the market price. However, shareholders consider it inappropriate for chairs and independent directors to receive incentive awards geared to the share price or corporate performance. I support this guideline but also suggest Chairs and NEDS, with inadequate ...

Mello Event, ProVen and ShareSoc Seminars and Lots More News

It’s been a busy last two days for me with several events attended. The first was on Tuesday when I attended the Mello London event in Chiswick. It was clearly a popular event with attendance up on the previous year. I spoke on Business Perspective Investing and my talk was well attended with an interesting discussion on Burford Capital which I used as an example of a company that fails a lot of my check list rules and hence I have ...

RBS Virtual Shareholder Engagement Meeting 25 Nov 2019 at 7pm

RBS have now announced details of their Virtual Shareholder Engagement Meeting on 25 Nov 2019 at 7.00pm, when you can listen and watch on the internet and ask questions, from the comfort of your home or wherever you may be. I hope many members will attend this meeting. To sign up and register click here You will need to submit your shareholder number. It is on your shareholder certificate. What happens if you hold your shares via a nominee?  I have asked RBS to clarify if ...

ShareSoc-UKSA Response: Law Commission Review of Intermediated Securities – Call for Evidence

ShareSoc-UKSA submitted a joint response on behalf of individual investors, on 5 Nov 2019. The key points we made were: Communication by email rather than by post is now the norm and assumed as the default position. Printing annual reports and shareholder circulars and sending them to shareholders by post is no longer necessary. Postage and printing costs were some of the key drivers of the nominee system. A modern system of intermediated securities should embrace and recognise modern technology and ensure ...

FRC: Individual Shareholders Engagement Meeting 5 Nov 2019

This was an excellent event, well organised by the FRC with about 80 attendees from ShareSoc and the UK Shareholders' Association. It is very reassuring to hear the underlying messages now coming from the FRC. The significant change of approach on transparency is very much to be applauded. It is also clear that oversight of audit quality is receiving much more attention. Following hard on the heels of yesterday's presentation from David Rule, I was very pleased to see today's news alert, ...

RNS Announcement Emails and Mello Presentation

Many private investors like me have been using a service from Investegate to deliver new RNS announcements via email. But recently, and not for the first time, delivery of such announcements has been delayed, or they have not been delivered at all. This can be positively dangerous – for example I only realised that I had missed seeing one after the share price of a company I held rose sharply. Missing bad news can be even more traumatic. After complaining to Investegate ...

Exchange Market Size in Stockopedia and BHP plus RIO

I noticed that the share prices of BHP Group (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) jumped this morning – at least for these behemoths of the FTSE-100 they moved substantially at 2.8% and 3.4% respectively. I only noticed because I recently purchased some of the shares in each company. These are of course very large mining companies so they are dependent on the price of metals and metal ore, particularly iron ore. The last time I looked at these companies was two or ...

Law Commission Review of Intermediated Securities Consultation

I am writing to ask you to make a personal submission to The Law Commission Call for Evidence on the subject of dematerialisation, intermediated securities, shareholder rights and nominees/platforms. This is the most important issue that ShareSoc-UKSA campaigns on. Your response must be done by 5 November and submitted to By email to int-sec@lawcommission.gov.uk. Commercial and Common Law Team, Law Commission, 1st Floor, Tower, 52 Queen’s Anne Gate, London, SW1H 9AG. I attach a copy of the official ShareSoc-UKSA  response, which runs to 38 pages. A personal ...
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