Blog

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.

If you click on any blog post, you will find an option to subscribe to the blog. Subscribing means that you will be automatically emailed, once a day, whenever any new posts are made to the blog. You can also follow us on Twitter to see tweets whenever new posts are made.


Legal Action on Lloyds-TSB and HBOS merger

Attention all former Lloyds-TSB shareholders. As former Lloyds-TSB shareholders are no doubt well aware, the merger of Lloyds-TSB with HBOS in January 2009 to form the Lloyds Banking Group was a disaster for shareholders in Lloyds-TSB. Lloyds-TSB was a financially strong bank who historically had paid a high dividend. HBOS was obviously in financial difficulties at the time and needed bailing out. Indeed information that subsequently became public suggest it was in reality about to go bust because of its large exposure ...

FCA launches campaign on investment scams

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have launched a campaign to warn people about investment scams. They get about 5,000 calls a year from investors about suspected scams and the average investor loses £20,000. The FCA have launched a new web site called Scansmart (see www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart ) which enables you to learn about the warning signs and even provides a menu on which you can check the investment you are considering. The FCA gives the key signs that the investment may be a ...

Glaxo Q3 results – in need of more treatment

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) issued its 3rd Quarter Results today (22 Oct 2014). It's one of those large FTSE-100 stocks that it's difficult to avoid holding if you are a UK stock market investor. It's such a large constituent of the index that all those index funds, and indeed almost all generalist unit or investment trusts, are likely to have a big stake in them. It's also one of those stocks that many people hold directly (as does this writer) simply as a ...

The Vote at Electra Private Equity

Electra Private Equity have fought off an attack from Sherborne Investors Management. The latter wanted a change of directors and for the company to conduct a strategic review, but resolutions to remove three directors were defeated with over 61% of the votes cast against them. The interesting aspect of this event was that over 81% of the votes in issue were actually voted. There was considerable debate last week at the meeting ShareSoc held on shareholder rights about the difficulty of getting ...

Shareholder Rights campaign launched

Last week ShareSoc launched a campaign to improve shareholder rights with a meeting in London. It focussed on the problems associated with nominee accounts and the adopted legal requirement to replace paper share certificates with an electronic system in a few years time. There was an impressive line-up of speakers at the meeting which included John Kay (author of the Kay Review and FT writer), Michael Kempe from Capita representing the ICSA Registrars Group, Peter Swabey from ICSA, John Lee (Lord Lee ...

Directors Pay Up 21%

There can be no clearer indication that the pay of company directors is out of control than the latest figures from Income Data Services (IDS). They have reported that the total remuneration of FTSE-100 company directors went up by 21% last year, based on figures in the annual reports of companies. Although base salaries only rose by 2.5%, the overall increase has been driven by “performance” awards such as bonuses and LTIPs (Long Term Incentive Plans). The 21% increase is of course ...

A Tale of Two Trusts – SLS and BRWM

Yesterday Blackrock World Mining (BRWM) announced they were writing off their investment in London Mining. This was one of their largest holdings and cut the trust's net asset value by almost 8%. The share price promptly fell by 8% on the day and fell further today. Who are London Mining you may ask? This is a small iron ore mining company based in Sierra Leone which has been badly affected by the slump in iron ore prices and the Ebola crisis ...

Tesco and why ShareSoc members should not have been surprised

After we published some previous comments on Tesco, Warren Buffett publicly admitted that his investment was a "huge mistake". He currently has about a 4% stake in the company, and may have lost over $800 million at the current share price after first buying it in 2007. It's perhaps worth reminding ShareSoc members and others of the fact they could have read a report on the Tesco 2013 Annual General Meeting in June 2013 which spelled out some of the problems the ...

Sainsbury and Tesco (do they need a pressure group?)

Following on from the debacle at Tesco, Sainsbury produced some quite awful trading figures yesterday (1/10/2014). Here's a review of some of the news on those and other retailers. Tesco The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are undertaking an investigation into Tesco's "overstatement of expected profit". Making misleading statements to the market is potentially a criminal offence. How long that will take to reach any conclusions is anyone's guess. The result of such investigations are often reported to investors so late in the day ...

Inheritance tax giveaway by the Chancellor

The announcement by George Osborne yesterday (29/9/2014), that a tax on pension funds is to be scrapped is a major giveaway for investors. It would seem we are already into the 2015 election campaign. At present anyone holding a SIPP (the most cost effective way to hold your pension fund) or other defined contribution pensions (e.g. personal pensions), faces a hefty tax bill when they die after the age of 75, or earlier if the fund is already in "drawdown", i.e. paying ...
join ShareSoc

Get more stuff

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Other Blog Posts