Covid-19

Laggard Supermarket REIT: Show of Hands Vote at Closed Meeting

Whilst being a good company in most respects, it is a shame that Supermarket REIT (SUPR) has blotted its copybook with an undemocratic general meeting. A general meeting was held today (5th October), to approve the issue of shares in order to expand the REIT. The notice of meeting says: However, you are reminded that in light of social distancing measures imposed by the UK government as a result of the current COVID-19 Pandemic, any member seeking to attend the meeting in person ...

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 ...

Remuneration in Covid times

by Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director Executive Pay is attracting much attention. The issues were well written up in this Guardian article. Insititutional fund managers have been slow to address this issue which is of great public concern. Their representative trade body have produced weasel words with lots of opt out possibilities, eg Chris Cummings, the IA’s chief executive, said: “Investment managers expect executive remuneration to be linked to long term company performance and aligned with the experience of its employees, stakeholders and shareholders. ...

Stock Market Trends, Covid-19 Treatments, Burford Results, Lookers Accounting and Medica

The stock market seems to be returning to normal with a positive trend over the last month despite the economy being in a complete shambles as a result of the “lock-down”. The Government is incurring massive costs to bail-out companies, support the NHS and pay workers to do nothing. We have yet to see the real economic impact of those measures on the Government’s finances. But investors seem to be euphoric because they now realise we are not all going to ...

Laggard Direct Line Group: How Not to Do Covid-19 Affected AGMs

In common with many other companies, Direct Line Group has "taken the easy way out" of handling its AGM when shareholders cannot attend in person due to Covid-19 restrictions. In this announcement of 21st April, Direct Line confirms that shareholders will not be able to physically access their AGM. Only proxy votes may be submitted. Direct line also say: Shareholders may send any questions about the business of the AGM to the Company Secretary at the Company's registered office or by email to ...

LeaderShell: Leading the Way for AGMs in Covid Times

Shell has today announced a webcast for all shareholders, ahead of the proxy voting deadline for its AGM. It's slightly disappointing that only written questions will be taken, preferably submitted ahead of the webcast. It's also a bit of a concern that the webcast is only two days before the proxy voting deadline, which may not be sufficient time for those holding shares in nominee accounts to submit their votes. It is understandable that Shell may not have been able to set ...

FT 20 April 2020, AGMs in these Covid times – ShareAction

ShareAction has written to FTSE100 Chairs, concerned that two out of three FTSE100 annual general meetings (AGMs) announced so far are going behind closed doors, indicating a trend of shareholders being shut out in the context of Covid-19. Companies including BAE Systems, HSBC and Next are holding AGMs with two members of the board physically present, without giving shareholders the opportunity to participate virtually. In contrast, Taylor Wimpey, RBS and others have taken steps to ensure that shareholders are heard and answered ...

Leaders Need to Set an Example Over Pay

The Daily Mail ran an excellent story on bankers pay and dividends, see https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-8177511/Now-bonuses-bankers-told-Industry-fire-pay.html They rang me about it and ShareSoc got a name check - Cliff Weight, director of shareholder organisation Sharesoc, said: 'The regulator is not being strong enough here. A lot of bonuses are now paid out in shares and the regulator has said nothing about that.' None of Britain's major banks has yet confirmed how they will ensure executive pay appropriately reflects the pressures the industry is under. Many ...

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...

Discussion Paper – what do we do now? Covid-19 implications

By Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director This is a complex area. It would be good to hear your views and ideas. Please add them via the comments box below this...