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 click on any blog post, you will find an option to subscribe to the blog. Subscribing means that you will be automatically emailed, once a day, whenever any new posts are made to the blog. You can also follow us on Twitter to see tweets whenever new posts are made.


Electronic AGMs and Voting

Several companies in which I hold shares are proposing to adopt new Articles of Association at their Annual General Meetings. These typically are amended to enable the holding of “virtual”, i.e. electronic ones, or “hybrid” meetings where a physical venue (or multiple ones) are also used. They can do that legally at present under the emergency regulations put in place by the Government but they are clearly anticipating a more common use of such capabilities now that everyone is more practised ...

Laggard Biffa: A Token Retail Offering is Not Good Enough

It was initially pleasing to see FTSE250 company, Biffa plc, recognise its retail shareholders, by making an offer though PrimaryBid alongside its recent institutional placing. As ever, the Prospectus Regulation meant that the retail offer was limited to €8m (otherwise a costly prospectus would have to be issued to make a larger offer to retail investors). Pretty paltry compared to the £100m institutional placing. I applied for the retail offer and was disappointed that my application was scaled back by nearly 50%. Disappointment ...

Learning Technologies and Ten Entertainment AGMs

I “attended” the on-line Annual General Meeting of Learning Technologies Group (LTG) today. Full members of ShareSoc can find my report on that meeting here: https://www.sharesoc.org/agm-reports/learning-technologies-agm-report-2020/ Another recent AGM of an AIM company was that of bowling alley operator Ten Entertainment (TEG) for which I hold all of 50 shares. I sold almost all my holding before they had to close all their venues. This was another company that did a placing recently but it is hardly surprising in this case that ...

Why the FCA Did Nothing About the Lloyds TSB Abuse

Those who were Lloyds TSB shareholders back in 2009 when they merged with HBOS to form Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) thought it was bad deal at the time and it certainly turned out to be so. HBOS had many dubious loans to property companies and when the banking crisis arose they were in deep financial difficulty. There seemed very little benefit in the merger for Lloyds shareholders Subsequently a legal action was launched by the disgruntled Lloyds TSB shareholders which was lost ...

AGMs- ShareSoc and UKSA write to FRC again

We have written to the FRC, again, about AGMs. Our note, written by Peter Parry, also contained some detailed analysis by UKSA member Phil Clarke (below). The email was written before the FRC published its latest guidance note, which is available here https://www.frc.org.uk/getattachment/e3224310-c39c-4b48-b56b-cc703936beeb/Updated-QA-AGMs-Best-Practice-Final.pdf To Jen Sisson, FRC Chief of Staff and Company-Investor Engagement Dear Jen, I am forwarding an email thread about AGMs initiated by UKSA member Phil Clarke. Much of it is already known to the FRC following Phil's contact with Sara at ...

Ocado Placing Does Not Respect Shareholder Rights?

Under the Companies Act 2006, pre-emption rights allow existing shareholders the ‘right of first refusal’ when new shares are issued.  According to 561(1) of the 2006 Act, shares cannot be offered to another person until an offer has been made (on the same or more favourable terms) to each existing shareholder, and any time limit given for the offer has expired. At its core, this enables such individuals to protect their existing shareholding against further dilution of their shares – but typically ...

AGM – scope for change

There is an excellent FT article on AGMs  https://www.ft.com/content/1209fa2f-30a9-4a16-bcee-65743814acc2 (11 June 2020) which quotes me in some detail: Cliff Weight, from the individual shareholders group ShareSoc, says he is concerned that some companies see AGMs as a “waste of time and unnecessary, apart from the formalities” required by law. He fears some will use the disruption caused by the pandemic to rubber stamp bad practices, such as by making it harder for investors to question the board. ShareSoc believes a move towards live AGM ...

AGMs – a great webinar from CSFI

I think you will find this well worth listening to. It is 46 mins. It is a bit technical, so educational for some ShareSoc members and intellectually stimulating for others. CLICK HERE TO WATCH The CSFI has produced a new discussion, titled 'Virtual AGMs: just the start of overdue changes in the way companies communicate with shareholders' Why you should watch: Technology has made it easier to run virtual AGMs, but barriers remain between the end investor – especially in pooled accounts – and ...

Babcock Price Fall, Segro Placing, TR Property

I said in a previous blog post “that I tend to avoid FTSE-100 companies as their share prices are driven by professional analysts’ comments, by geo-political concerns, by general economic trends and by commodity prices. You can buy a FTSE-100 company and soon find it’s going downhill because one influential analyst has decided its prospects are not as they previously thought”. Indeed that is exactly what happened after I made a recent purchase of Babcock International (BAB). Soon after, Shore Capital Markets ...

LeaderSomero AGM: A Good Attempt

I would like to commend Somero (AIM:SOM) for making a good attempt to engage with investors at the their AGM, despite Covid-19 restrictions. Their approach contrasts with that of many companies that have ducked the issue and simply closed their AGM to shareholders. Ahead of their AGM today, Somero announced web and telephone access for their AGM, which I have just participated in. The web link allowed audio access and gave shareholders the ability to ask questions. The technology worked well and ...
join ShareSoc

Get more stuff

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Other Blog Posts