Corporate Stewardship

Daily Mail, 2 June 2021, Bacanora takeover “offer” by Chinese company Ganfeng

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-9641119/Backlash-sale-lithium-Chinese-predator.html  reports that: Cliff Weight, director of shareholders champion ShareSoc, said: 'When foreign joint ventures are listed on the London Stock Exchange, it is very difficult for the rights of minority shareholders to be protected. 'Companies such as Bacanora need to be much more transparent, so it is easier for investors to understand the options and warrants that JV (joint venture) partners have. It looks like the Chinese are buying lithium assets on the cheap.' .

Buying, Selling and Voting US shares

by Cliff Weight, Director ShareSoc. The Gamestop upcoming AGM votes have highlighted the differences in the platforms. Some still do not allow you to buy US shares. Notably Interactive and eToro will allow voting of Gamestop shares. I was sent the information below by a journalist, which looks right, but I cannot guarantee it is so. These things often change. I understand that Hargreaves are looking at making voting easier and considering using Broadridge. That would definitely be a great step in the right direction. Platform Access to US ...

Investment Trust Discount Reduction – The SEC example

by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight. These are my views and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Readers may recall my blog in Oct 2020 about investment trusts discounts and what to do about them https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/collective-investments/investment-trust-discounts-what-to-do-about-them-and-sec-example/ On Friday 28 May 2021,  SEC announced their new plan to help reduce their discount, https://www.londonstockexchange.com/news-article/SEC/contingent-tender-offers/14995537 : 2022 Contingent Tender The Board has determined to put in place a contingent tender offer in 2022, should the ordinary shares trade at a wider than average discount of 8 per cent. over the ...

Sunday Telegraph, 30 May, Leonardo Governance Concerns

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/05/30/minnow-activist-going-battle-defence-giant-leonardo/ quotes ShareSoc saying a CEO in the UK would step aside until the investigation concluded.

Mail, 14 March 2021, SUPERMAN and #sharesocuk Support Shareholder Rights.

It is good news that The Mail on Sunday MailOnline is supporting shareholders and shareholders rights. I get quoted.... Cliff Weight, director of investor campaign group ShareSoc, says wealth platforms make it so difficult for customers to engage that they are 'disenfranchising individual shareholders'. He says: 'Most platforms don't even pass on information and if you want to vote the method offered is practically prehistoric. As a result they're throwing away millions of shareholder votes.' Weight believes platform Interactive Investor is better than most. Eight per cent ...

Do Spivvy PE Funds IPO Their Investments at Inflated Prices? – and HM Treasury Consultation UK Listings Review

The AA 86% share price decline, coming on top of the Saga and Aston Martin makes me wonder if PE firms and others are exploiting those retail investors willing to buy into a fashionable story. I have to admit to losing money on Saga, whose share price is down 90% from its 2016 high. My mother-in-law was a huge fan of Saga and she gave me a present of Saga membership when I was 50, so when they were floated, I and ...

Chrysalis – Vote NO at 26 November General Meeting

Shareholders are excluded from this GM and there is no pre-meeting webinar to discuss these highly contentious proposals to wind up the VCT and distribute any monies raised (less administration fees, including payments to the failing fund manager and some directors). Several members of the ShareSoc VCT Investor Group (including Tim Grattan, Mark Lauber, Roger Lawson and myself) met on 10 Nov to discuss Chrysalis' plans. Our conclusion was that shareholders should vote against these proposals for the following reasons: Chrysalis is ...

Is the FRC doing a good job?

By Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. I think the FRC is doing a much better job. The record fine for Deloitte re Autonomy, (see Compliance Week: FRC fines Deloitte record $19.4M for Autonomy audit failures ) and the fines at Redcentric and Redcentric's auditors, and the prosecutions of former Redcentric directors in Southwark Crown Court are further evidence that things are changing. As is the transitioning from FRC into ARGA. But don't take my word for it. Come to the FRC events we have organised ...

Investment Trust Discounts, What To Do About Them and SEC Example

In this article, I argue that discounts are bad for those invested in a trust, and the Board of the investment trust should look to reduce any discount. However, for those thinking of investing in the trust the discount might be an opportunity. The question is, how real is that opportunity or is it just a 'value trap'? We look at why discounts can arise and the measures that can be taken to eliminate them or even move the trust to a ...

AGMs – Best practice needs to evolve

There needs to be a review of the guidance on company AGMs. In these difficult and uncertain times it is vitally important that companies continue to engage with investors, that they keep them up to date with events and foster their support and commitment. Never has the importance of the AGM been so high. It is now a month since the current lockdown due to Covid-19 was introduced. This has coincided with a particularly busy period in the annual reporting season with ...