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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.

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Laggard Supermarket REIT: Show of Hands Vote at Closed Meeting

Whilst being a good company in most respects, it is a shame that Supermarket REIT (SUPR) has blotted its copybook with an undemocratic general meeting. A general meeting was held today (5th October), to approve the issue of shares in order to expand the REIT. The notice of meeting says: However, you are reminded that in light of social distancing measures imposed by the UK government as a result of the current COVID-19 Pandemic, any member seeking to attend the meeting in person ...

Share Centre Future and FT Spoofing Article 

The Share Centre recently advised their customers of “Our Future with Interactive Investor”. It gave details of the transfer of accounts to the Interactive Investor platform following the acquisition of the Share Centre business. However they failed to point out one important point which customers need to be aware of. Share Centre ISAs are “Flexi ISAs”. This means that you can take cash out of the ISA and put it back in so long as you do it in the same tax ...

Avingtrans Preliminary Results Call 2020

Yesterday, 1st October, I participated in Avingtrans' results call. The call was based on the results presentation, here: https://www.avingtrans.plc.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/AVG-Results-Presentation-FY20.pdf. A research note from finnCap, containing forecasts is freely available here: https://researchlibrary.finncap.com/File/View?file=80864f18-44e7-4d07-8c04-138f93ac28e0 (subject to registration). I have held Avingtrans shares since 2006, so know the management team and story very well (which has evolved over time). I consider them to be competent and honest. In the call they described the company as a "mini-Melrose", i.e. operating a buy and build strategy in the ...

Regulating Consumer Investments and Company Register Reform

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have launched a consultation on the Consumer Investment Market. They consider it a priority to reduce the harm that many consumers suffer from fraud in this sector. The FCA has this to say: “We have made significant improvements to this market to protect consumers. But there are over 5,000 financial adviser firms and more than 27,000 individual advisers acting as intermediaries between the consumer and their investment. Dominated by small firms, these complex chains of interdependent products ...

LeaderBHP Shows the Way With Covid-constrained AGMs

Like other companies, BHP will not be admitting shareholders to its AGM, due to current Covid-19 restrictions. Unlike many others, however, it is doing the next best thing and holding an online "shareholder forum" on 23rd September ahead of the proxy voting deadline of 13th October, for registered shareholders voting online. If, like most individual shareholders, your shares are held in a nominee account, you should check with your broker/platform what the deadline is for submitting votes through them. This meeting will enable ...

Record Fine on Deloitte, But It’s Not Enough       

The Financial Report Council (FRC) has fined accounting firm Deloitte £20.6 million (including costs) for its defective auditing of Autonomy. Deloitte is the largest of the big four audit firms and this is what the head of the firm said when talking about their 2019 results: “Our FY 2019 results are a validation of Deloitte’s strategy to deliver high-quality, globally consistent service to our clients while continuing to serve the public interest and working to restore trust in capital markets”. Revenue of ...

Delistings: Take the Money and Run

by Paul de Gruchy, Director, ShareSoc One of the aspects of investing that is rarely discussed, and yet often provokes ShareSoc members to approach us for help and advice, is what happens when a company is delisted. The LSE is a public company, and so is keen to increase revenues by listing as many companies as possible. But all too frequently companies list, raise money, and then for whatever reason, delist from the market. Shareholders are left with shares in a private company ...

The Advantages of Investment Trusts

The AIC has issued a video which spells out some of the advantages of investment trusts over open-ended funds. They spell out that with most investment products you don’t have a say, but with investment trusts you do because you can vote on important decisions about how your company is run and what it invests in. You can also attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to meet, and question, the board directors and the investment manager. Investment companies also have independent ...

Pre-Emption Group (PEG) extends the easing of its issuance guidelines

Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc gives his personal views below which may not necessarily reflect ShareSoc's view. UK-listed companies hit by Covid-19 are being given an additional lifeline as the Pre-Emption Group (PEG) extends the easing of its issuance guidelines, allowing more share capital to be raised from shareholders. The PEG, the affiliate of the Financial Reporting Council that provides guidance on fundraisings and rights issues, has confirmed that the additional flexibilities put in place at the height of the pandemic will be extended ...

Laggard Hugely Disappointing That ImmuPharma Excludes Individuals From Placing

I have been an investor, supporter and follower of ImmuPharma. So I was appalled to read that ImmuPharma (LSE:IMM) has raised £6.5 million, before expenses, via an oversubscribed placing of 59,090,909 new ordinary shares at a price of 11p per share. There was no Primary Bid offer and no notification to investors who hold their shares via nominee of this placing nor any invitation for them to share in the spoils. The placing was at 11p and the share price this morning ...
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