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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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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, ...

Blogging and Shorting – Globo and Valeant

An organisation called Quintessential Capital Management (QCM) published a report on the 22nd October on Globo. The next morning the shares were suspended at the request of the company so as to enable them to provide a detailed response but they immediately refuted all the allegations in the report. QCM acknowledged that they are active in short selling and have taken a short position in Globo. They also have links to Simon Cawkwell who was also involved in a similar attack on ...

After the Storm, at the High Pay Centre

I attended a seminar organised by the High Pay Centre last night on the new public company pay regulations introduced two years ago. Speakers were Vince Cable who lead those changes when he was in power, and Ben Chu of The Independent, with the former promoting his new book "After the Storm". Vince covered some past history and his current concerns. That included a comment that interest rates were now lower than they had ever been before - indeed since Babylonian times ...

IPOs – Worldpay, Equiniti and McCarthy & Stone

The writer has been wading through the 300 odd pages of the prospectuses for Worldpay (already listed), and Equiniti (due to list on the 30th October). The latter will be available to retail investors via certain stockbrokers if you fancy a punt, although you'll be taking the price that institutional investors decide to pay. In addition McCarthy & Stone are lining up to float. I have already written a rather long article for the next ShareSoc Informer newsletter on these three companies ...

Possible Volkswagen Legal Action

The following note has been issued by Better Finance (a European Association of private investor groups of which ShareSoc is a member). It is self explanatory. Dear Members, In September, Volkswagen admitted that an estimated 11 million cars worldwide were involved in the falsified emission reports. Reports have emerged that Volkswagen’s top management had been aware of the deception since before the official ad-hoc announcement. Representing VW shareholders, the German investor association DSW, a member organisation of Better Finance, is examining the possibility ...

Future ShareSoc Events – London and Manchester

ShareSoc has two Growth Company Seminars coming up in the next couple of weeks. On the 21st October we have Sphere Medical, Sprue Aegis, EG Solutions and Venture Life presenting in the City of London and on the 28th October we have Safestyle, Redx Pharma and Tracsis presenting in Altrincham near Manchester. These are all interesting small cap companies and this is a great opportunity to ask questions of the management of these companies and meet other investors. In the latter ...

Pension Reforms – FCA Rule Changes to Protect Fools

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is concerned that many people are taking cash out of their pension pots and investing it in risky propositions or blowing it without taking suitable advice. They have launched a new public consultation therefore on rule book changes under the title "Pension reforms - proposed changes to our rules and guidance". They must consider it urgent as we only have to the end of October to respond. One particular change that might affect our readers is that ...

Can you make money in the FTSE100?

Can you make money by investing in the FTSE100? This thought came to mind when looking at some of the recent market statistics. It's quite an important question because most stock market investors are heavily biased to that segment of the market (as opposed to FTSE250, small cap or AIM stocks) simply because the market cap of the FTSE100 is a very high proportion of the overall UK market. For example, it's about 80% of the FTSE AllShare. So if you ...

Alliance Trust Shareholder Action Group welcomes changes announced by Alliance

PRESS RELEASE 70 1/10/2015 The Alliance Trust Shareholder Action Group (ATSAG), supported by ShareSoc, welcomes the changes announced by the company today. Our comments are as follows: The separation of investment management operations into a more independent management organisation (Alliance Trust Investments - ATI) so as to make it more accountable is sensible. It is being given a clear mandate to perform and the announcement suggests further changes might be considered, such as outsourcing of investment management, if it does not. The demotion ...

Alliance Trust Announcement and ATSAG Response

Alliance Trust Plc have today announced a number of changes "to enhance shareholder value" as they put it. It includes a more focussed investment mandate, a reduction in costs, a commitment to narrowing the discount, a revised dividend policy and a simplification of the corporate structure. The Alliance Trust Shareholder Action Group (ATSAG), supported by ShareSoc, has generally welcomed the changes. You can read the full comments issued by ATSAG in this press release: https://www.sharesoc.org/pr70alliancenews.html Roger Lawson
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