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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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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 ...

Market Trends, Big Miners and Will the Music Stop?

Stock markets continue to rise. They seem to be ignoring the bad company results that are going to come out in the next few months. Although there are signs that the Covid-19 epidemic is weakening, some sectors such as hospitality are going to be in lock-down for some time. The economy is clearly going into recession with many employees being laid off. The lack of consumer spending, not just because some people have less money to spend, but because others are ...

More on Placings – AVACTA

AVACTA (AVCT) has seen its share price rise from 100p on May 13 to 200p and then decline to 140p. I feel sorry for those investors who bought at around 200p. The sharp decline in the share price (20p on Tuesday and 20p on Wednesday) could be evidence that this deal has leaked. Source: Interactive Investor The £25m placing price is 120p, so the fact that the share price is staying stable today at 140p (at 09.48 as I write) suggests, in my  opinion, ...

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

This very important Bill is set for House of Commons passage this Wednesday (3rd June), and is expected to proceed to the House of Lords on 9th June. You will be able to see updates on the passage of the Bill online here. BEIS have published factsheets here on the gov.uk website. These are designed to explain the detail of the Bill in a more accessible way, and answer some of the questions people may have. The factsheets cover: Overview of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill    ...
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