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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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Sirius Update #4  5 Feb 2020

Over 700 Sirius shareholders have now joined the ShareSoc Sirius Shareholder Group (SSSG) and more are joining at a rapid rate. Please join ShareSoc and SSSG. The more members of SSSG we have, the more influential we will be. We have successfully lobbied Sirius and they agreed to meet. We have sent them a 5 page letter and they sent a detailed response. The Sirius meeting was with CEO Chris Fraser, Chairman Russell Schrimshaw and others, and happened on 4 Feb. A note ...

Change the Rules/Laws to Make it Easier to Prosecute Fraudsters

I was absolutely delighted to read that the SFO is at long last making the right noises. “End 'antiquated' fraud rules to make convictions easier”, says the new SFO boss. I think the SFO, Crown Prosecution Service, FCA, ARGA and/or BEIS should be given more resources and told to pursue problem cases much more speedily. Companies should not be allowed to hide behind expensive lawyers. The whole process of settlements where management admit no blame and shareholders pay the fines/settlement amounts mean ...

Brexit and Why Shareholder Votes Matter

Last night Brexit got done. We exited the EU after 47 years. But we will need to resume the conversation to secure a trade deal. That still leaves room for many more arguments within the UK and with the EU. It might be preferable to have some alignment on product and financial regulations but in the latter area the EU either follows well behind the UK anyway, or creates regulations like MiFID II that are overly complex or simply incomprehensible. The Shareholder ...

Miton UK Smaller Companies Fund In Decline

There was an interesting article published a couple of days ago by Citywire on the problems at the LF Miton UK Smaller Companies Fund. The fund is managed by well known investor Gervais Williams and Martin Turner and focuses mainly on AIM listed companies. Performance in 2019 was dire with the fund losing 14% when the sector was up 25%. Over the last 18 months this open-ended fund has shrunk by 75% as investors bailed out. In the Citywire article Gervais is ...

Sirius Update #3 30 Jan 2020

586 Sirius shareholders have now joined the ShareSoc Sirius Shareholder Group (SSSG) and more are joining at a rapid rate. Pressure is mounting from the Daily Mail, with our input, for Anglo to consider options that keep shareholders engaged https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/comment/article-7922163/ALEX-BRUMMER-Sirius-Minerals-backers-shares.html and I can now report two more major press stories in the Telegraph and Yorkshire Post: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/01/27/fca-bearing-may-adios-amigo/ - It is the second article on this link and you need to register to see it. https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/business/sirius-shareholders-get-much-needed-investor-forum-ros-snowdon-1-10223498 We have had a terrific response from the Law Commission, ...

Shareholder Rights: Positive noises from Law Commission re nominees and Sirius problems

Our most important campaign is Shareholder Rights which relates to the current problems with nominee accounts. This is so important because it impacts all our other campaigns and work with companies our members invest in. At long last this issue is being reviewed by government. I last wrote about this last year in these two blogs ShareSoc-UKSA Response: Law Commission Review of Intermediated Securities – Call for Evidence which includes a copy of our response to the consultation The Law Commission begins review ...

Allenby Capital – AIM Market Update – Q4 2019

Allenby have posted a useful note on the state of Aim with lots of data, click here to Download note Key points: December bounce but 2019 remained a down year Total funds raised (new and further issues) in 2019 of £3.99bn, down 33% vs 2018 • Reduced activity driven by Brexit concern and political uncertainty • Further raises down 15% to £3.35bn • New issues down 68% to £649m (22 new joiners vs 59 in 2018) 22 new joiners to AIM in 2019 • Of the £649m raised, £151m ...

Draft Response and Petition on LSE Market Hours Consultation

Further to my earlier post on this subject, I have now drafted a response, on behalf of ShareSoc, which you can download here: Response to LSE Consultation on Market Structure and Trading Hours N18 - redacted. This is a draft, still subject to change. Please let us know if you have any comments on this draft. The majority view that we have received in feedback, is that a reduction in market hours would be welcome, as it could help to concentrate liquidity, leading ...

Sirius Update #2 28 Jan 2020

As of today, 28 Jan,  274 Sirius shareholders representing at least 150m shares have joined the ShareSoc Sirius Shareholder Group (SSSG) and more are joining at a rapid rate. These figures do not include a backlog of registrations still to process. The more members we have, the more people will have to listen to us. We are merging Paul Anscombe's data into ShareSoc's database thus ensuring that the data is held securely and confidentially. This work is currently underway. I would like ...

Sirius Update #1 24 Jan 2020

As of last night 235 Sirius shareholders have joined the ShareSoc Sirius Shareholder Group (SSSG) and more are joining at a rapid rate. Pressure is mounting from the Daily Mail, with our input, for Anglo to consider options that keep shareholders engaged https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/comment/article-7922163/ALEX-BRUMMER-Sirius-Minerals-backers-shares.html The SSSG committee have sent a letter the Sirius Board of Directors requesting a meeting and further information. To see the 5 page letter go to the ShareSoc Sirius Forum page https://sharesoc.ning.com/xn/detail/6389471:Comment:55870 – sorry, but you will have to ...
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