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EPIC CNA
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Centrica – Iain Conn and the NEDs: if you think this is acceptable it is time for your P45s

I am a patient investor and Centrica has had its fair share of problems. Some have been self-inflicted (losing customers), some imposed on it (the government price-cap) and some hark back to the previous regime and others are just a difficult market. As a shareholder, I’m sure the board will do what is necessary to get things back on track. Yet in the face of falling profits and the dividend under serious threat I see monster pay rises. That, in my view, is totally unacceptable.

EPIC CNA
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My advice to Centrica and BT: have a plan if you are going to cut the dividend

Investment can be a kind of introspective business and it struck me yesterday that it was kind of interesting that when i wrote up my latest musings on Marks & Spencer (MKS) the other day, I did not even mention the dividend cut.  It was not as if I did not know about it but in an article where I probably squeezed in too many corporate names, it did not feel that relevant versus the Ocado related money raising, continued roll-out of the new strategy and the reiteration of numbers.  I found it interesting too that you had to delve quite deep into the deadwood press articles of the next day to spot this aspect of the update too.  

EPIC CNA
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Centrica tests my faith whilst Barclays rewards it

I am often asked why I focus on larger cap shares when 'elephants cannot gallop' and 'surely all those brokers covering the stocks out there mean there is pretty efficient pricing'. Obviously the former is a more reasonable point than the latter, although judging by the way the shares of both Centrica (CNA) and Barclays (BARC) have moved around in recent months, there has been a decent amount of galloping too (mostly downhill to a lower share price)...

EPIC CNA
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Centrica's management are laughing after big regulator price cap fail

I do not remember the various price caps employed by Ted Heath's government in the early 1970s...but the history books tell me all I need to know as to their impact which was a mega policy failure and contributed to the election of a Labour government (of course it also led to the monetarist/free market revolution that ultimately led to the rise of Mrs T). Price caps distort markets and give incorrect incentives, a point made multiple times over the last year by the management of Centrica (CNA), concerning the introduction of energy price caps by Ofgem following agreement by the government...

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