General News

Objections to Pay at Diploma and the Cost of Zero Carbon

My previous blog post covered the subject of criticism by Slater Investments of many current pay schemes. That at Diploma (DPLM) is a typical example. But at their Annual General Meeting yesterday, which I unfortunately was unable to attend in person as a shareholder, there was a revolt. The votes cast as disclosed in an RNS statement today were 20% against their new Remuneration Policy and 44% against their Remuneration Report. I voted against both of them of course personally. The board ...

LSE Consultation on Market Structure and Trading Hours

The London Stock Exchange launched a consultation last week on the subject topic. You can find this consultation here: https://www.londonstockexchange.com/traders-and-brokers/rules-regulations/change-and-updates/stock-exchange-notices/2019/n1819_attach1.pdf I will compile a response to this consultation for ShareSoc, on behalf of the individual investor community. If you have any views on the matters being consulted on, please let me know by emailing info@sharesoc.org. Please put "LSE Market Hours Consultation" in the subject line of your email. Alternatively, you can comment on this post. I will do my best to respond to ...

The Political Manifestos and their Impacts on Investors

Here are some comments on the manifestos of the major political parties, now that they are all available. I focus on how they might affect investors. Most readers will have already realised that political manifestos are about bribes to the electorate, or to put it more politely, attempts to meet their concerns and aspirations; however in this particular election, spending commitments certainly seem to be some of the most aggressive ever seen. Labour Party: The Labour manifesto includes extensive renationalisation of water/energy utility ...

FT Lombard column mention of ShareSoc

Lombard 1 Oct 2019  suggested ShareSoc may sue the Thomas Cook auditors. ShareSoc is always pleased to get a mention in the FT. However, the FT were a bit naughty as they were quoting me from a story of some days ago in the Daily Mail, see https://www.sharesoc.org/media-mention/daily-mail-24-september-2019-thomas-cook-small-investors-fury/ . The FT also did not check with me to see if that was still our position. So I am writing this blog to clarify. Our issue was principally about the gleeful optimism of ...

Open Orphan, Operation Yellowhammer and a Bridge to Ireland

Last night I attended a ShareSoc company presentation seminar. One of the companies that presented was Open Orphan (ORPH) which used to be called Venn Life Sciences but changed name after a reverse takeover of Open Orphan and a change of CEO. The new focus is on orphan drugs which are those medications that are focused on rare diseases, i.e. those with relatively few patients and where historically there have been few treatments available and typically very little research. Big pharma ...

CentralNic, Photo-Me and Nationalisations

Firstly, lets talk about a couple of companies in which I hold no shares. CentralNic (CNIC) published interim results this morning. This company sells internet domain names and web services. It states that both revenues and adjusted EBITDA have tripled year on year. The share price has not moved at the time of writing. This company is surely operating in a growth sector but the company’s share price is less than it was 5 years ago. The company has been growing via ...

Buy Backs Bad – and done at wrong time!

The following article reports on a JP Morgan prediction for this year of over $800 billion in stock buybacks. According to this article in CFO.com, S&P 500 firms repurchased $166.3 billion worth of...

A Bad Day in the Market, but Good News from Unilever and BEIS

It was a bad day in the market yesterday, with the FTSE All-Share falling over 1%. This seems to have been driven by a sell off in bonds. Equity prices are usually linked to bond prices simply because as bond yields rise from a fall in bond prices, it becomes more attractive to hold bonds relative to equities. That particularly applies to shares that are “bond proxies”, i.e. ones bought because of their high yields for income seeking investors. These changes have ...

The Impact on Investors of Labour’s Plans

I commented briefly yesterday on the plans by John McDonnell of the Labour Party to give employees shares and possible future nationalisations – see: https://roliscon.blog/2018/09/24/labours-plans-for-confiscation-of-shares-and-rail-system-renationalisation/ More information is now available on the share scheme and the more one studies it the more one realises that whoever devised it does not understand much about business and the stock market. In other words they were typical politicians with no experience of the real world I would guess. The scheme would apparently operate by companies with ...

Lehman Collapse, Labour’s Employment Plans, Audit Reform Ideas and Oxford Biomedica

There was a highly amusing article in the FT recently by their journalist John Gapper explaining how he caused the financial crisis in 2008 by encouraging Hank Paulson, US Treasury Secretary, to resist the temptation to rescue Lehman Brothers. So now we know the culprit. Even more amusing was the report on the previous day that the administrators (PWC) of the UK subsidiary of Lehman expect to be left with a surplus of £5 billion. All the creditors are being paid ...