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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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Vote Against Remuneration at RELX

ShareSoc is advising its Members to vote against the Remuneration Report resolution at the RELX Annual General Meeting on 21 April 2016. ShareSoc consider the pay of the CEO...

Persimmon AGM and Remuneration

On the same day as BP held its Annual General Meeting (AGM), and got snubbed by shareholders over its Remuneration Report, house building company Persimmon held its AGM in York. One might have expected that Persimmon would also have been attacked for its remuneration scheme, for the reasons explained below, but in reality it passed with only 9% of votes against. Indeed there was more opposition to the election of a new non-executive director, Nigel Mills, who only passed with 53% ...

ShareSoc Advises Investors to Vote Against Anglo American Remuneration Report

PRESS RELEASE 74 14/4/2016 ShareSoc (the UK Individual Shareholders Society) is advising its Members to vote against the Remuneration Report resolution at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of Anglo American. We consider the pay of the CEO to be too high, and particularly so in a year when the company suffered a loss of $5.6 billion in 2015 and dividends were suspended. The market cap of Anglo has shrunk from £50 billion in 2008 to £8 billion today. However, CEO remuneration has ...

BP Remuneration Vote Lost

BP had 59% of shareholders voting AGAINST the Remuneration Resolution at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 14/4/2016 (and that's ignoring the abstentions which some institutions like to use to express dissatisfaction). This is what the Chairman had to say even before the vote was cast: "We know already from the proxies received and conversations with our institutional investors that there is real concern over the directors' pay in this challenging year for our shareholders. We have always judged executive performance not ...

What’s the Beef About the Cameron’s Tax Planning, and Tata?

The attacks on David Cameron over his family's tax planning seem wildly excessive. His father set up an offshore investment fund to invest in dollar based shares without incurring the risk of double taxation. David did hold some of the units but subsequently sold them. His mother gave him £200,000 after his father died, with the probability (not certain) of that being outside inheritance tax if she lived for another 7 years. That is not exceptional tax planning, it's just common ...

ShareSoc Advises Investors to Vote Against BP Plc Remuneration Report

PRESS RELEASE 73 11/4/2016 ShareSoc (the UK Individual Shareholders Society) is advising its Members to vote against the Remuneration Report resolution at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of BP. We consider the pay of the CEO to be simply too high, and particularly so in a year when the company suffered a record loss of $6.4 billion in 2015. Even so his pay went up by 20%. Part of the reason for the high pay was the excessively complex remuneration scheme.  Background The ...

Spreading Rumours About Stocks Is a Criminal Offence

As a follow up to my last blog post on the case of Iraj Parvizi currently being heard in Southwark Crown Court, it has now transpired that he was not aware that spreading false rumours was a criminal offence. As Mark Bentley has commented on the last article, Mr Parvizi's comments on trading in Pacific Media appear to be an example of using “manipulating devices” [MAR 1.7.2] under the FCA Handbook regulations, which explicitly identifies “pump and dump” as a form of ...

Spreading Rumours About Stocks

The Financial Times reported today on the curious case of Iraj Pavazi, a stock market trader currently on trial at Southwark Crown Court. In his defence testimony he apparently admitted that he once spread false rumours about a stock to push up the share price. The article reports that he bought all the shares in the stock of Pacific Media (a "penny" share listed on AIM) that were available and then spread a story that a Malaysian tycoon was going to reverse ...

Stock Spirits – A More Direct Approach

I have commented on the affairs of Lakehouse recently where disgruntled major investors have requisitioned an EGM to replace all the non-executive directors. One commentator asked why the investors did not try to change the CEO also. A more direct approach is being taken at Stock Spirits (STCK) where concerned shareholder Western Gate Private Investment, who own 9% of the company, have submitted a requisition to remove the CEO, Chris Heath, and also appoint two new experienced non-executive directors. Stock Spirits is ...

Prime Minister Resigns

PM resigns over disclosures from Panamian lawyers. Ah but that's not our David Cameron, but Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson after previously denying in a televised interview that his family had any offshore investments. David Cameron spelled it out. He holds "no shares, no offshore trusts, no offshore funds, nothing like that" he said in a statement. My immediate reaction was "what a pity". The failure of politicians to hold shares in listed companies means that they end up with no understanding ...
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