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 would like to be notified about new posts to our blog you can opt-in to our Weekly Wrap-Up Email service. If you are a member of ShareSoc select the “Weekly Wrap-Up Email” option here. If you are not a member select the “Information and Education Services” option here.


Who are the Election Winners and Losers?

Who are the General Election winners and losers? Well most investors have benefited because the market as a whole has risen today after the election results gave the Conservatives an unexpected victory. Specific sectors that benefited were house builders and utility companies. House builders were generally up at the time of writing this note, with Berkeley Group in particular up 10% - no doubt investors being relieved there would be no mansion tax affecting expensive properties in London.  Utility companies were ...

Shareholder voting, remuneration and BG Group

Manifest, a proxy advisory service, have reported on the voting at Annual General Meetings recently. It was good to read that there was significant opposition to the change to 14 days notice at the General Meetings of both Arm and Anglo-American - 18% at the latter and even higher at the former. This commonly arises where there are substantial overseas holders who find difficulty in getting in their proxy votes in time because of the complexity of the voting chain. But ...

Alliance Trust AGM – Will Dundee cake suffice?

These are some initial impressions of the Alliance Trust AGM in Dundee yesterday - a full report can be found here. It was not quite as exciting as it might have been after the company conceded defeat the previous day and agreed to accept two of the new directors nominated by Elliott, who then withdrew their resolutions. Alliance said it was a "compromise" but most commentators saw it as a tactical withdrawal at best. All Alliance have got is a "non-disparagement" agreement ...

ShareSoc Masterclass in Manchester

After our very successful Masterclass events in London and Peterborough, we have now scheduled a similar event in Altrincham (near Manchester) for the 11th June. Our Masterclasses are designed to offer an entertaining and educational experience for investors. They enable you to learn from proven experts on how to make money in the stock market (or avoid losing it)! Our panel will consist of ISA millionaire Leon Boros, Keith Ashworth-Lord, manager of the ConBrio Sanford DeLand UK Buffettology Fund, Stockopedia CEO Edward Page-Croft and Roger ...

Tesco Results and Elementis AGM

Tesco (TSCO) and Elementis (ELM) - two very different companies. The first announced their preliminary results this morning, and the second held their AGM today which I attended. The opening line of the Tesco announcement says  it all: "It's has been a very difficult year for Tesco". Although it said like-for-like sales volumes were up for the first time in four years, the rest of the commentary was pretty negative and of course there will be no final dividend. Debts are rising, pension ...

Change at the top at Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce (RR.) have announced the abrupt departure of CEO John Rishton, although apparently it was his desire to retire and "have a change of lifestyle" that prompted this rather than pressure from the board or from shareholders. It would appear he may not have been enjoying the job of late. After the dismal last set of results it is not a surprise. I commented then (in February) by saying "My view: it may be a great business with great products but ...

Why Share Certificates are Dangerous and We Need a New System

The national press have covered the story of Deryn and Derek Hemment who face a demand for £25,000 from Capita to replace lost share certificates. They held shares in Compass Group worth £1.5 million and Capita posted them new certificates via second class post. But they never arrived and cannot be traced. Capita says it's not their problem because their terms and conditions make it clear that certificates are sent at the recipients risk. Capita appear to have been acting as ...

Governance in Investment Trusts – Alliance Trust, Baronsmead VCT 3 and the Core VCTs

The battle for the soul of Alliance Trust continues - or so their Chairman would have it. But even institutional proxy advisors ISS and PIRC have now come out in support of Elliott Advisors and their resolutions to appoint three new directors at the AGM on the 29th April. Alliance have said they are looking for a new truly independent non-executive director, but will they be anyone who is likely to disagree with the existing board or take a contrary view? ...

THE EUROVOTE PROJECT – Help requested

Help needed please !!! The Eurovote Project allows investors in other countries to have their shares voted at British AGMS. One of our shareholders takes authorisation supplied by us to the allotted AGM. Recent illness has prevented this from happening in six of our eighteen allocations. We are asking if anyone with shares in the companies below would be prepared to help us to do this. There is no significant effort involved if you are going to the AGM anyway, and a ...

Shell & BG Group Deal – Not Everyone’s Happy

(Pay packages and short termism at BG Group and Amec Foster Wheeler) Shareholders in BG Group should surely be happy. The offer from Shell values their shares at about £13.50 per share which is a premium of 50% to that which they have recently been trading. Although investors will get most of the value in Shell shares which means they will still be holding shares in the depressed oil and gas sector. An indication that perhaps not all investors are happy is ...
join ShareSoc