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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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Laggard Laggards? AJ Bell Directors/PDMRs’ share sales, Numis, Invesco and the FCA

On Friday, 22nd May 2020 at 16:16 an RNS announced that Fergus Lyons (a Managing Director at AJ Bell) had sold 1.25 million shares at 448.637p and his wife another 25,000. Michael Summersgill (CFO) sold 5,000 shares and his wife sold 420,00o on 21 May 2020 at the same price. However, a day earlier on Thursday 21 May at 16.51, AJ Bell announced in an RNS that Invesco "has today indicated its intention to sell up to approx 31 million shares" in a placing, organised ...

Eurasia Erasure

by Mark Lauber, Director, ShareSoc Eurasia Mining is a junior mining company listed on the AIM market. Having traded in a range of 0.4 to 0.7p for the last two years, it spiked up in October 2019, reaching a price of 7.2p by the time it was suspended on 11 February. The reason given for the suspension was that clarification of the relationship with CITIC was required. On 9 April a further RNS was issued, stating that WH Ireland had resigned as Nomad, ...

Unsatisfactory Avast AGM, and Designated Accounts

I “attended” the Avast (AVST) Annual General Meeting today. This was of course held on-line using Zoom with only one director in physical attendance (Warren Finegold) who chaired the meeting. Zoom seems to be becoming the de facto standard for on-line meetings. The Chairman of the company, John Schwarz, gave a brief presentation backed up by some slides. To summarise, it was another strong year of growth and profitability. A new CEO is now in place. EBITDA was up 8% with strong ...

Fund Charges – and Discounts

by Alan Reeder, ShareSoc member The thorny subject of Fund charges and discounts has been much discussed in the Press recently – along with the pros and cons of investing in Investment Trusts versus Funds. Amid all the discussions of where to invest, a factor often overlooked is the difference in Annual Management Charge (AMC) levied by the Fund Manager.  It is important to bear in mind that although this AMC can vary from one broking House to another – it is the ...

Press release 113 – Burford v London Stock Exchange legal case judgement implications

Press release 113 - Burford v London Stock Exchange legal case judgement implications ShareSoc: Regrets both the judgement and the basis for it as set out by the judge, and Laments the further erosion of confidence it will cause. Share Soc Director, Paul De Gruchy, said "Our survey highlighted the lack of confidence of individual investors of the AIM market and the way it is regulated by the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Ultra short term investors are extracting rent, risk free, from long term ...

Slave to the Algorithm: Burford and the Importance of Maintaining Confidence in a Broken System

On 1 October 2019 I wrote an article about Burford in which I said that their application to obtain, from the LSE, details of how trades in their shares were placed and then apparently cancelled last August was a rare opportunity to discover whether market manipulation is endemic on the LSE. It is important to highlight that this case is not about Burford, which has become a divisive company. It is nothing to do with whether the claims made by Muddy ...

Property Shares Spooked by Land Securities and Pets at Home Accounts Attacked

Land Securities Group (LAND) published their annual results yesterday. I don’t hold the stock but what they said seems to have spooked the whole property sector. The company is a large holder of both retail and office property. For retail property, only 38% of rents due were collected within 10 days of the due date in March. For offices it was better at 89% but that is still down from the prior year at the same time. What possibly really scared people ...

Investing for Income – More Than Just Seeking a High Yield

Vanishing Dividends Every week brings news of a major company cutting or suspending its dividend: this week, it was BT. For investors who rely upon dividends for income, the search for a reliable, sustainable dividend becomes ever harder. There are no shortage of commentators who believe that most companies should be putting dividends on hold now. Certainly, the story of Easyjet paying out significant dividends on the same day as it requested a bail out from the government struck many as irresponsible. When ...

How important is the Individual Shareholder to UK PLC in the current climate?

On Thursday 7 May 2020 The LSE and Primary Bid ran a webinar on How important is the Individual to UK PLC in the current climate? There was an impressive panel made up of: Gavin Oldham, Chairman - Share Centre Richard Wilson, CEO - interactive investor Angela Knight CBE Andy Edmond, CEO, Equity Development Marcus Stuttard, Head of UK Primary Markets and AIM - London Stock Exchange plc The Chairman was  James Deal, COO - PrimaryBid The topics  discussed were: The daily trading ...

EDGE Performance VCT Update 9 May 2020

At the 2019 AGM of Edge Performance VCT, all 3 directors who stood for re-election were not re-elected; nor were the auditors Grant Thornton.  Subsequent to the 2019 AGM, the Company’s sole remaining director, Terry Back, re-appointed 2 of the 3 former directors. ShareSoc launched a campaign in Jan 2020 to improve the performance of Edge Performance VCT Plc (consisting of H and I share classes) and reduce the fees charged by its investment manager, Edge Investments Limited. Although we have not communicated ...
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