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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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Vacation and Thorntons Takeover Bid

Back from a week's holiday during which one of my holdings (Elementis) issued a profit warning while another was the subject of a possible bid (Netcall). Neither prompted me to take action as I was on holiday even though I spotted the news. The Greek crisis is not yet over and one gets the impression the deadlines keep moving out and most knowledgeable commentators expect some last minute fudge to allow Greece to stay in the Eurozone. At least my total ...

FCA Investigation into Quindell

Shares in Quindell have today been suspended from the AIM market and an investigation into “public statements made regarding the financial accounts of the Company” has been initiated by...

Charles Stanley and Alliance Trust

Stockbroker Charles Stanley (CAY) today announced their Preliminary Results for the year ending in March, and also announced they had exchanged contracts for the disposal of the CSS Division. The results were somewhat better than expected, but there was a loss before tax of £6.1 million, albeit with positive underlying earnings per share. Charles Stanley have a considerable retail investor client base and it is always worthwhile for investors to keep an eye on the financial position of their stockbroker. The ...

Rensburg AIM VCT About Face on Wind-Up

Rensburg AIM VCT Plc have today (18/6/2015) announced that the circular giving details of the previously proposed wind-up of the company has been put on hold. They state that the previous announcements have "......acted as a catalyst to generate interest in the Company and several of the parties with whom the Board had held previous discussions have approached the Board with proposals which might prove to be more attractive than before". Maven Capital Partners, who had written to shareholders, is not ...

SHARESOC INVESTOR MASTERCLASSES

An Entertaining & Educational Evening for Investors Our Investor Masterclasses are intended for investors with all levels of experience. A panel of expert investors discusses topics of general interest to our audience. Topics will be covered both at a basic level for the beginner, and also in depth for the more experienced investor. There will also be an opportunity for you to quiz the panel and share your own views. No matter what your level of expertise, we’re sure you’ll find something ...

Rensburg AIM VCT Wind-up covered in the FT

There was an interesting article in the FTMoney edition yesterday (6/6/2015) on the proposed wind up of Rensburg AIM VCT Plc. The board of directors are pushing ahead with this proposal and a General Meeting to approve it is scheduled with the AGM on the 22nd July. The FT article by Adam Palin points out that anyone who claimed capital gains roll-over relief on their original investment in the VCT may not wish to support the wind-up. It quotes me (as a ...

Issuing More Shares in Investment Trusts – Finsbury Gr. & Inc. et al

Now that many investment trusts trade at a premium to their net assets value, it has become commonplace for them to issue more shares so as to "meet demand" as they tend to say. The latest example of this is at Finsbury Growth & Income Trust Plc (FGT) which is one of the better performing trusts. Other examples of those who do it regularly are City of London Investment Trust and City Merchants High Yield Trust. In the case of  Finsbury they ...

The Wonders of LTIPs, Pay at WPP and the Sprue Aegis AGM

Yesterday (3/6/2015), I attended the Annual General Meeting of Sprue Aegis (SPRP). Before discussing what was said at that meeting, it's worth reviewing a recently issued report by the High Pay Centre entitled "No Routine Riches".  It's a devastating critique of how the existing systems of "performance related pay" for directors has worked. To quote from the report: "We have looked at the growing complexity of awards that has pushed directors’ pay into the stratosphere, and found there is little discernible link ...

PLUS500 – the Last Word (Hopefully)

I have been meaning to write something on Plus500, an Israeli based provider of CFD trading, for some time. This may be the last opportunity. It is listed on AIM and was discussed at the last ShareSoc Masterclass in Peterborough, with different opinions on it from panel members. Today (1/6/2015) it has become the subject of an agreed cash offer from Playtech at 400p per share, which surely investors in the company will accept. They may be happy to get out ...

Enormous Costs of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Legal Action

There was an interesting article by Geoff Ho in the Sunday Express yesterday (31/5/2015) on the law suit being pursued by shareholders against RBS. He reports that the RBoS Shareholders Action Group was presented with a bill for £1.2 million by its former solicitors Bird & Bird and a demand for "prompt payment" after they changed lawyers to Fladgate following concerns over costs and communication. Indeed the original demand was even higher but was subsequently reduced.  Fladgate are working on a ...
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