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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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Bonds, Insider Trading and New Business Secretary

The risks inherent in open-ended property funds have received a lot of media coverage of late - see my blog post of the 5th July which simply said they should be avoided. With many such funds closing so that investors could not take their money out, the risks inherent in providing liquidity to investors when the underlying assets (namely buildings) are highly illiquid have become apparent. Paul Killik had an article published in Saturday's FTMoney (16/7/2016) that made some highly intelligent comments ...

McColls Retail Group – A Transformational Deal?

McColl’s Retail Group is a chain of 1,352 “convenience” and “newsagent” stores. After the market closed last night they announced the acquisition of 298 convenience stores from the Co-Op...

May The Force Be With You

That is surely an appropriate headline to follow the selection of Theresa May as Prime Minister designate. That was particularly so when she promised to attack the company "fat cats" and vested interests. Specifically for investors she said that "The people who run big businesses are supposed to be accountable to outsiders, to non-executive directors, who are supposed to ask the difficult questions, think about the long term and defend the interests of shareholders. As we have seen time and time again, ...

A Bouquet and a Brickbat

ShareSoc's fundamental mission is to improve the landscape for the individual investor in UK shares. One aspect of this is levelling the playing field between individual and institutional investors with respect to access to corporate managements and business strategy presentations. AGMs are a key opportunity for managements to do this, as they are open to all shareholders equally. To that end, ShareSoc has published a guide for companies on how to run AGMs in a shareholder friendly manner (and for attendees on what to ...

Bid for SABMiller (SAB) Queried

One of my contacts has questioned what is happening in the bid for brewer SABMiller by AB Inbev. Here is what he had to say: "The concern raised is that here appears to be a really anomalous situation which is in danger of setting a terribly bad precedent. The two largest shareholders in SAB Miller are Altria (Philip Morris) and the Santo Domingo family of Colombia. They have agreed to a deal for beneficial tax reasons (to them) whereby they accept a ...

Open Ended Property Funds Should Be Avoided

Commercial property funds are popular with private investors as historically they have provided high dividends with relative price stability. But the announcement yesterday by Standard Life Investments that it had suspended trading in its UK Property Fund has further undermined confidence in the property sector after it was already depressed because of the impact of Brexit. The suspension means that investors are unable to sell their holdings. This fund, one of the largest open-ended property funds, is an "open-ended" fund - in ...

Who Caused the Stock Market Collapse? And consequences.

Who or what caused the stock market falls immediately after the Brexit vote? It was not just the UK market that fell, but many international ones plus of course the pound fell very significantly - to its lowest level since 1985. It was somewhat unexpected that the impact would be so immediate. The UK stock market has recovered to a large extent in the large cap stocks, many of which will benefit from the lower pound and a move to more "defensive" ...

Brexit Hangover, You’re Not Laughing Now

The markets falling, England lost to Iceland in a football match, and there is gloom and despondency everywhere. Much of the country seems to be in a post-party hangover. It therefore seems a good time to review the situation and try to give some explanations for what has been happening. Firstly, you have probably guessed, as did my local M.P. without me telling him, that I voted for Brexit. Je ne regrette rien, as one of our partners that we intend to ...

Bargains You Could Not Pick Up

As I predicted might happen in an earlier blog this morning, there was a panic when the market opened as the pound was already down substantially. But if you tried to pick up some bargains, it was damn difficult. Retail service providers who provide electronic quotes to brokers seemed to stop providing them, and just logging into some retail platforms proved very difficult. Even if you managed to log in, the service was so slow that it was impossible to do ...

Brexit Result Impact and Tesco AGM

The result is in, and the people have spoken. We will now leave the EU, unless of course there is some more re-negotiation or other fudge which would probably require some U-turns by politicians. They are of course adept at finessing such manoeuvres so don't be surprised if the outcome is not quite as simple as it might first appear. The pound has already fallen substantially (I am writing this just before the stock market opened). Is that a disaster? Not quite ...
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