Tuesday 20 February 2018 | ShareProphets: The one stop source for breaking news, expert analysis, and podcasts on fast-moving AIM and LSE listed shares
The January 2018 edition of the UK Investor Magazine is now live: Nine tips, defending Churchill, and not missing Nigel Wray
Lucian is still on his grand tour of Eastern Europe but before he left he told me his two sell tips of the year for 2017. The first, natch, was Cloudtag (CTAG) HERE. The second, at 384.5p, is Plus 500 (PLUS).
The Market reaction to last Tuesday’s news that the FCA was proposing stricter rules for CFD products was predictably savage. What surprised me was that IG Group (IGG) led the way with a 40% fall whereas Plus 500 (PLUS) fell “only” 27%. Since then IG has continued to weaken ( 470p at the time of writing) whereas Plus has rallied a little (373p ditto).
I do not use CFD's. They seem like a mugs game and indeed research by the FCA shows that 82% of clients of the big providers lose money. But then most folks lose on the horses or on betting on football so why target CFDs? It is all driven by MiFD2. We saw this take shape in Cyprus last week although Plus500 denied that it would be affected in a pathetic rebuttal to my scoop. That rebuttal was bollocks and Plus shares are among the big fallers today as the FCA has weighed in with a series of measures.
I am back in the Hellenic Republic once again and it appears that there may be a few problems ahead for AIM listed Plus 500 (PLUS) in the Greek speaking world. A contact flags up developments in Cyprus where - as you can see in the attached document - Plus does much of its business.
Having received an email from Plus 500 (PLUS) PR Reg Hoare re my recent article. I am more than happy to stand corrected on a couple of points and suggest you read Reg's mail HERE. I accept that Plus 500 does not provide binary options and nor does it cold call prospective clients, however I would however like to make the following points in relation to the email below.
Yesterday I ran an email from PR Genius Reg Hoare who acts for Plus500 (PLUS) which tries to set the record straight after Lucian Miers' article the previous day. At the end of his email Mr Hoare states "I wouldn't for one moment presume to tell you how to run your Share Prophets web-site, but" he then tells me how to run my business. Ok Reg, I wouldnt presume to tell you how to run your fecking PR business but...
All PR folks are geniuses. Reg Hoare does the PR for Plus500 (PLUS) and reckons Lucian Miers has it all wrong. I am a fair man so am happy just to print Reg's email in full. Over to the genius who writes:
The weakness in Plus 500’s (PLUS) share price in the last couple of days which has seen it fall a pound from 666p is probably explained by the excellent Times of Israel investigative piece on binary options which appeared on Thursday.
An article in the Times of Israel on binary betting and the industry centred on Tel Aviv has been drawn to my attention. Ouch.
Top broker Numis has ceased its coverage of Plus500 (PLUS) with an incredibly damning note for its institutional clients, which just happens to have fallen into my possession. Steve Moore and myself have been bears of this stock for a while and we remain so. Now over to Numis which writes:
If you want me to analyse a stock for you just drop me a line at [email protected] - Today I look at shares in Forbidden Technologies, Pace and Plus500 setting share price targets for all three stocks.
Having consistently cautioned on the proposed 400p per share takeover of Plus500 (PLUS), the shares are currently falling below 350p following an announcement of “Termination of Merger, Dividend and Share Buyback”…
Holders of AIM-listed Plus500 (PLUS) might wish to note yesterday morning’s RNS from their white knight, Playtech (PTEC). It concerns the proposed takeover by Playtech of Irish-headquartered CFD broker Ava Trade Ltd. It seems that the Central Bank of Ireland has raised an objection, and has informed Playtech that it is opposed to the proposed transaction (see HERE).
Two no-one-is-watching o’clock RNSs caught my eye last night, both after 6pm when everyone had gone home for the weekend, or perhaps were limbering up for the opening skirmishes of the Rugby World Cup. One from fully-listed Circassia Pharmaceuticals plc (CIR), and the other involved the much covered AIM-listed Plus 500 (PLUS) and its proposed takeover by fully listed Playtech (PTEC).
A results statement for the first six months of 2015 today from Plus500 (PLUS) includes that “notwithstanding the impact of UK regulatory matters, the group has performed well over the period”. Hmmm. Is this really the case? …
Recently operationally troubled CFD trading provider Plus500 (PLUS) has updated on the proposed 400p per share acquisition of the company by Playtech plc following a vote by shareholders of the latter on the deal…
I don’t know much about Playtech or its “colourful” founder Teddy Sagi (briefly imprisoned as a lad for grave deceit, bribery and insider trading) but they have certainly done no favours to bulls and bears alike in bidding 400p per share in cash for Plus 500 (PLUS).
Plus500 (PLUS) has announced an “update regarding its remediation plan for customers of Plus500UK”. How useful is the update though? …
Having taken its interest in Plus500 Ltd (PLUS) to more than 25%, Odey Asset Management has today stated that it considers the recent recommended cash offer of 400p per share from Playtech plc “materially undervalues Plus500 and we do not intend to vote in favour of the cash acquisition of Plus500 at this price”. What now, after this latest twist in this saga?
Having joined AIM at 115p per share in July 2013 and reached 770p less than three weeks ago before an announcement of regulatory issues with the Financial Conduct Authority saw the shares driven to a recent closing low of 271.75p before recovering to close at 370p on Friday, Plus500 Ltd (PLUS) has now announced a recommended 400p per share takeover by fellow London-listed Playtech plc…
It was drawn to our attention that we were carrying adverts on this website for Plus500 (PLUS) the AIM casino listed slow motion car crash. The ads game via Google so we earned buttons from them however...
Cripin Odey made headlines back in January when he predicted that we were on the cusp of a market meltdown so savage that would be talked about in 100 years’ time. Odey is smart and presumably has taken out a hedging strategy that will protect his fund from such an outcome.
Shares in CFD trading provider, Plus500 (PLUS) have recovered back above 300p currently today and the following updates on developments here…
Having closed last week at 750p, shares in CFD trading provider, Plus500 (PLUS) were suspended earlier today at around 300p. They now trade again – currently at around 250p – with the company having issued a statement “to respond to recent speculation regarding the current status of Plus500UK's dialogue with the FCA”…
While it may not necessarily be the case in this instance, from my experience as a broker in the 1990s and 2000s, the main source of pain and anguish for brokerages / investment houses tends to be the competition whistleblowing or nobbling via the regulators, rather than the behaviour of the clients or indeed the markets. Lehman Brothers rather learned this the hard way – allegedly.
A message has just gone up on the Plus500 (PUS) website for all clients which suggests that something may be horribly wrong at the AIM listed company about which we have warned several times on this website. The shares are off 20% as I write - at 605p - but the bear community reckons the stock could still head straight off the cliff face from here. Sell.
From the FCA's spreadsheet of short positions required to be disclosed to it, the following details the shorted AIM shares (by net short position %) and if this position has increased (red), reduced (green) or remained unchanged (black) since a previous analysis HERE…
A couple of years ago I was on stage with Evil Knievil and I ended up pointing out to him numerous times that he doesn’t get “internet companies.” I recall he was happy to admit it.
We can reveal exclusively that infamous bear raider Evil Knievil has opened a material short in Plus500 Ltd (PLUS), the AIM listed financial services company.
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