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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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The HBOS Report – It’s Finally Here

The Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Bank of England today published the report of the inquiry into the failure of HBOS Plc. Those who were investors in the company at the time, or who suffered as a consequence of the bail-out of the company via a merger with LloydsTSB, will not need to be told what happened and why. This report does not add a lot to the story as the defects in the management of the HBOS are now well ...

Stockbroker Transfers – Why So Long?

  Why, oh why, do transfers between stockbrokers take so long? Having just suffered the second delay of three months or more to simply switch from using one stockbroker (or "investment platform" as some now prefer to call themselves) to another, I am now writing to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to demand some action on behalf of investors. Other ShareSoc Members have reported similar delays on a regular basis and I am building up a portfolio of cases to support our submission ...

Better Finance Press Release on Shareholder Rights Directive

The following press release has just been issued by Better Finance - an organisation that represents private investor associations: PRESS RELEASE A CAPITAL MARKETS UNION WITHOUT A SINGLE MARKET FOR EU-WIDE SHAREHOLDER ENGAGEMENT Brussels, 9 November 2015 – The Commission’s proposal for the review of the Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD), aimed at countering wide-spread short-termism in favour of a long-term perspective in the governance of listed companies by stimulating stronger shareholder engagement, was presented to the European Parliament (EP) and Council. Whereas the EP ...

Tweeting False Information is a Crime

Yes tweeting false information is a crime, at least in the USA. Scottish trader James Craig has been charged by US prosecutors with fraud after he set up two twitter accounts and distributed false information on US firms Audience and Sarepta. This caused the share prices of those companies to fall by 28% and 16% and caused investors to lose over £1 million. Mr Craig has now disappeared. Mr Craig used Twitter account names that were similar to those of Muddy Waters ...

UK Population Growth – The Implications for Investors

A few days ago, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their projections for UK population numbers. The projected changes have really important implications for stock market investors. The ONS forecast that residents will grow to 70 million in the next 12 years from 65 million at present (that's an increase equivalent to the size of the Irish Republic). The increase is primarily being driven by immigration and a lot of the rise is expected to be in the South-East of ...

ShareSoc expresses the dismay of shareholders at the administration of Globo

PRESS RELEASE 71 4/11/2015 ShareSoc notes the dismay of many shareholders in Globo Plc at the rapid collapse of the company. It has now gone into administration so the outlook for existing shareholders is very bleak indeed. Globo was another of those controversial AIM stocks which were actively traded by private investors and where the merits of the company were the focus of vigorous debate. However, it would now appear that the company might have been the subject of a major fraud, rather ...

Globo In Administration

There has been a further announcement by the company today which stated that administrators have been appointed "by order of the court". The administrators are FTI Consulting LLP and they say "Our focus is to undertake an immediate assessment of the Group in order to evaluate any opportunities to realise value from the various businesses.  We will also be looking to gain control of the books and records in order to be in a position to undertake a full investigation.  These steps ...

Alliance Trust Investor Forum Report

Yesterday I attended the Investor Forum held by Alliance Trust in London. There were about 350 attendees with the usual audience of investment trust shareholders, many of whom had held the shares for a very long time from talking to a few of them. I pick out below some of the highlights (a full report of the meeting will be distributed to those who have registered for the Alliance Trust Shareholder Action Group (ATSAG - see https://www.sharesoc.org/alliance.html ). Chairperson Karin Forseke covered ...

Identity Theft – Experian, TalkTalk and Optimal Payments

There have been a spate of cases of digital identity theft or breaches of security from UK listed companies of late. Their shares prices have all been affected to a greater or lesser extent. On the 2nd October, Experian (EXPN) reported that 15 million US consumers who had applied for T-Mobile services had been the subject of theft of their personal information. T-Mobile is reviewing its relationship with the company, but the share price only suffered a temporary setback even though the ...

Globo – the Last Straw

Subsequent to my last blog post which covered the attack by Quintessential Capital Management (QCM) on Globo, this morning the company has made three further announcements: After an emergency board meeting, the CEO (Costis Papadimitrakopoulos), and the CFO (Dimitris Gryparis) have resigned and the COO has been suspended. A committee of non-executive directors has taken over after "certain matters regarding the falsification of data and the misrepresentations of the Company's financial position" were brought to their attention. The joint corporate broker, ...
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