Regulations and Law

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, ...

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 ...

Dividends Slashed, Investing for Income, NMC Health and Finablr

Many companies are announcing cancelled, reduced or postponed dividends – two of the latest were Shell (RDSB) and Sainsburys (SBRY). This will hit investors hard who rely on dividends for retirement income. But should they be doing so? Terry Smith of Fundsmith had an article published in the Financial Times today under the headline “Investors: never let a crisis go to waste” in which he attacks income funds. In particular he questions whether the Investment Association should allow funds with “income” in ...

AGMs – Best practice needs to evolve

There needs to be a review of the guidance on company AGMs. In these difficult and uncertain times it is vitally important that companies continue to engage with investors, that they keep them up to date with events and foster their support and commitment. Never has the importance of the AGM been so high. It is now a month since the current lockdown due to Covid-19 was introduced. This has coincided with a particularly busy period in the annual reporting season with ...

Market Manipulation? The Burford Case

In this article from October last year, ShareSoc director Paul de Gruchy sets out the allegations Burford has made about manipulation of its shares, during a "shorting attack". Many ShareSoc members are concerned that the FCA is not adequately enforcing the market abuse regime, which is intended to deter market manipulation (whether long or short). Burford's case has now reached a critical juncture. Burford have asked the court for a "Norwich Pharmacal Order", to compel the LSE to disclose the identity of traders ...

FRC, FCA and PRA Joint Statement 26 March 2020

I notice the market has just dipped below 5,600 so clearly most people are not very worried by this FRC, FCA and PRA announcement. Nevertheless I would point out...

AIM Introduces Covid-19 Emergency Measures

On Friday 20th March, AIM Regulation announced the measures which you can find here: https://www.londonstockexchange.com/companies-and-advisors/aim/advisers/inside-aim-newsletter/inside-aim-coronavirus.pdf These are some quite significant relaxations of the AIM rules, to take account of...

White Paper idea re Financial Debt

This is a complex area. It would be good to hear your views and ideas. Please add them via the comments box below this blog. I was chatting on...

Shareholder Rights – Response from Kelly Tolhurst, BEIS Minister

There are continuing sign of progress on shareholder rights. The Law Commission Review is progressing and we have received the following letter from the Government. Corporate Responsibility Minister Kelly...

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...