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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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RBS AGM result and subsequent publicity

Paul Jackson wrote an in-depth analysis of the RBS Shareholder Committee campaign and the issues raised in the prestigious Investors Chronicle, 22 June 2018 issue, which is read by tens of thousands of investors. We are grateful to Paul and Investors Chronicle for giving us permission to reproduce this article. Click here: https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/shareholder-democracy/whose-company-is-it-anyway/ RBS AGM Result - Shareholder Committee Vote – We did well but it was a wasted opportunity UKGI Votes were 75.3% of those cast. So their vote decided the outcome. 7.8% of ...

FRC Enforcement Video

The FRC is working hard to improve its transparency. Some would say they are not working hard enough and need a much more fundamental review. Recently there has been a marked increase in the number and level of fines they have levied on audit firms and audit partners, which we regard as positive On 12 July 2018, the FRC issued a News Alert about FRC executive Claudia Mortimore discussing the FRC’s enforcement process. In the video clip, Claudia Mortimore discusses how the team approaches ...

Warning to Beaufort Clients

It has come to ShareSoc’s attention that certain claims management companies (CMCs), may approach Beaufort clients, offering to help you recover your assets. We would advise extreme caution if you receive such an approach. The latest information from PwC, as agreed by the creditors’ committee, can be found here: https://www.pwc.co.uk/services/business-recovery/administrations/beaufort/latest-news-and-update.html As you can see from that statement (and the plan summary referred to by it), all bar fewer than 10 individuals with accounts that include cash in excess of £400,000, will have the costs ...

Premier Foods – it all comes down to strategy

Premier have now responded to the Oasis “decapitation” initiative with a posting on their website outlining the case for retention of the present CEO. Its worth a read through and you can find a copy here - http://www.premierfoods.co.uk/getattachment/investors/results-centre/Premier-Foods-Presentation-July-2018-(2).pdf.aspx Premier have taken each of the key areas mentioned by Oasis and outlined their own position on the matter. The pack summarises the past financial performance, the abandoned McCormick approach, the strategic review and Gavin Darby’s pay. And, to demonstrate that they DO have ...

Whose company is it anyway?

Paul Jackson wrote an in-depth analysis of the RBS Shareholder Committee campaign and the issues raised in the prestigious Investors Chronicle, 22 June 2018 issue, which is read by tens of thousands of investors. We are grateful to Paul and Investors Chronicle for giving us permission to reproduce this article. A rather strange thing happened at the RBS annual general meeting at the end of last month. UK Government Investments (UKGI) used its 70 per cent stake to help scupper a resolution ...

Open Season on Auditors?

I attended a joint ShareSoc/UKSA meeting hosted by PwC yesterday. There was a lively debate as one might expect of the problems of the audit profession where there have been just too many issues with listed company accounts in recent years. The latest is an investigation announced by the FRC into the audit of Conviviality but there have been lots of other problem cases in both large and small companies – Carillion, Interserve, BHS, BT, Rolls-Royce, Mitie, RSM Tenon, Connaught, Autonomy, ...

Book Review: Debtonator by Andrew McNally

Now here’s a book well worth reading on your summer holidays. It’s called Debtonator by Andrew McNally. Indeed if you are taking a long-haul flight to your holiday destination, you might be able to read it in one sitting. Like all good books it is short at only 98 pages excluding notes and index, and the format is small as well. But there is an enormous amount of information embodied in there. It covers the problems caused by excessive debt in the ...

Amati AIM VCT AGM and Retailers

Amati AIM VCT is one of those peculiar beasts – a Venture Capital Trust. Yesterday I attended their annual general meeting and here are some general comments on the company and the meeting: Amati AIM VCT (AMAT) is the result a merger of the two Amati VCTs. They had very similar portfolios so this made a lot of sense, and the result is a large VCT with total assets of £147 million. This figure was also boosted by excellent performance last year ...

The Battle for Petropavlovsk is over – for now….

So, the boardroom battle at Petropavlovsk finally reached a conclusion at today's AGM with the present board being ousted by the returning previous board. I note that the key votes were won by relatively small margins of a few percent and there was a very good turnout with c77% of all shares voted. So, is it a testament to true shareholder democracy or a disaster for the company's stability and future prospects with a rotating door at the top - what ...

Shorting Shares: Radio 4 programme

Mark Northway and Cliff Weight were interviewed as part of this programme which highlighted some of the benefits and issues surrounding short selling. Members may wish to listen to the programme which can be downloaded here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b7fj3g#play "Falling Short - Fake News and Financial Markets File on 4 If fake news is poisoning public debate, then what is it doing to the financial markets? Short-sellers - investors who bet on a company's shares falling, not rising- have a mixed reputation. For some they play a vital ...
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