Quelle surprise. The big five banks; Lloyds (LLOY), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), HSBC (HSBA), Standard Chartered (STAN) and Barclays (BARC) have all done the decent thing and cancelled/postponed dividends and buybacks for the next couple of quarters…
Unless you were Warren Buffett with a bunch of cash ready to put in and a billionaire status, that was not fun yesterday. All longer-term investors know that a day like yesterday (or a period like the last few weeks) goes with the territory but each crisis is different and just because you have racked up honing in on twenty-five years kicking around the professional investor game, it does not mean you have seen it all. Naturally, events make my philosophical…
Hello, Share Farmers. The big British banks have share prices stuck in the mud on roads which should be taking them north, but are not. And yet the compo paid out in PPI cases is nearly over. The deadline was on August 31st, 2019. Yes, that sparked off a huge number of last-minute claims, but many of those will be spurious anyway and the rest will soon be mopped up...
Back when I was a callow youth about to start my undergraduate studies, the ritual of opening my first bank account (until then a Post Office savings account was my sole financial product interaction) provided a wonderful social insight. If I recall correctly, all the cool, well-heeled kids had accounts open for them at Barclays (BARC) or Lloyds (LLOY) as a continuation of their parental banking allegiances. I just went for the bank that offered me the most money as a joining inducement...and that happened to be NatWest… I read today in the latest quarterly thoughts from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) that this tainted name - courtesy of largesse a decade plus ago by 'Fred the Shred' and others - will change back to NatWest Group later this year...
A few days ago I asked you to write an essay of no more than 150 words to answer a question from the Bath Spa University Banking & Finance course. A few of you tried as you can see here but I have good news and bad.
This should be easy, I invite you to answer the following question in fewer than 150 words. Bath Spa students need to find a safe space room if their human rights are breached by being asked to pen more than 150 words a term. The deadline for entries is Sunday at midnight and the best entry wins a bottle of Greek Hovel 2019 olive Oil. This question is sponsored by Ms Alison Rose of RBS.
The job of a bank boss is very simple. It is to lend money to folks who have a good chance of paying it back so that shareholders see a net return, the bank stays profitable and staff keep their jobs. It is not to change society. No doubt RBS boss Alison Rose will be praised for risking £1 billion on ultra-woke virtue signalling. MBE, Member of the House of Lords, it all looks more likely but this is folly.
If I ever got so desperate as to be forced to take a job as a PR spinner for Metro Bank (MTRO), one piece of advice I would give is to stop pushing out quarterly updates and other thoughts after the market close. In America they might have an active 'post close' market with plentiful corporate disclosures, but here it is just plain weird and smacks of a company trying to hide something...which is maybe apt for Metro Bank…
Hello, Share Turners. My conscience has nagged me lately. It’s over the ethical nature of my shares. I described myself as a socially responsible investor. But am I really? As previously pointed out on this delicious website, my holding in Diageo (DGE) the drinks firm would raise questions with some.
I felt a bit of a fool yesterday morning. No doubt there are some who argue that this should be a perpetual state of affairs for me, but the specific reason was that on Friday someone had asked me about Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) shares and in the light of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and shocking CYBG (CYBG) PPI updates, I said something along the lines that 'if Lloyds had something material to say then surely it would have said it by now'…
In today's bearcast I discuss Luke Johnson and British and American cultural attitudes to a career setback. Then I see how the deadwood press think that appointing Alison Rose as the new Biggest Swinging Dick at RBS will end its macho culture. It really is so much hogwash.
When did Friday's get so busy in the regulatory news statements world? Hello the global corporate quarterly earnings season I guess...by my reckoning my ninety-second. Roll on the nice neat century in a couple of years time or so. Akin to being the complete investment sad-o that regular readers know that I am, I did a search on today's first quarter numbers from BT Group (BT.A)…
Once upon a time, with its shares at 82p, Sound Energy (SOU) was valued at c£500 million. But no institutions were backing it, this was just a ruthless private investor ramp. It worked but you cannot keep plates spinning forever and drill failures in Italy and Morocco brought the shares crashing down. Today there was a final kick in the gonads for the mug punters suckered in by CEO James Parsons and others.
I know that I have been (an incorrect) fanboy of Kingfisher (KGF) for the last year or so when the shares have hardly covered themselves in glory but I still see an opportunity prospectively here to make money. As I noted back in March 'look at the cash flow and hope that finally the Chairman (Andy Cosslett) is getting it. Ditching the CEO is just stage one', I read in today's deadwood press that 'the former head of Direct Line is in early talks with B&Q owner Kingfisher about taking over as chief executive'.
Hello Share Cringers. They tell us that 90% per cent of our worries never materialise. This could be the case with all those Brexit fears. And it seems that the Big City agrees. Because despite all the cynicism, share prices are holding up remarkably well. But there are some headwinds that are now’t to do with Brexit.
There are not many corporate names that always seem to report on a Friday but advertising giant WPP (WPP) and financial behemoth Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are two of them…
RBS (RBS) has announced that after five and a half years of earning a basic salary of a million quid a year plus numerous bonuses, LTIPs etc, Ross McEwan has resigned from his role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director. We are told that bankster fat cat Ross is on a 12 month notice period.
Hello, Share Gatherers. The share price of Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) has been creeping up. At Christmas, it was around 50p and it’s now around 63p. And how has its big rival Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) done in the same period? Its Yule price was 206p and now it’s 263p...
It is a good job that Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has started to pay a dividend (3.5p full year and a 7.5p special equating to 11p per share or c. a 4.5% yield) because my June love-up would have left any investors over the last eight or so months with basically no capital gain. I guess it could have been worse and today's full year 2018 numbers have shown some real year-on-year progress...
Hello Share Chewers. Turning on the radio the morning after the big vote, I heard an American say that he was shorting three British banks. I presume they might be Lloyds (LLOY), RBS (RBS) and Barclays (BARC). Though I suppose the Asian-slewed bank Honkers Bonkers (HSBA) might be one of them, too. This was no ordinary investor, as anyone who saw that great film The Big Short will know...
Hello Share Pushers. Another week's gone by. Another seven days in a very long, but rather slow bull market. Actually, the Footsie's performance recently has been poor, so should we see that as a sign of a ne w bear market? Must we change at least a few of our shares into cash? I would say ' yes' for the following reasons.
Hello Share Twirlers. There are times, gang, when some of my favourite shares are in a quiet period. Or they’ve taken a small, and in my humble view, unjustified, knock. When this happens, it could be a jolly idea to bring them to your attention - so here are three of these stocks.
In pretty unsurprising news, overnight UK Government Investments - which manages the UK government's Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) stake - announced that it had sold a 7.7% stake at around a 3% discount to Monday's closing price. This sale raises around £2.6 billion and reduces the government's holding from just over 70% to a mere 62.4%. I like RBS stock here as I wrote just over a month ago. The metrics are improving and the times are changing...and part of that change is the government progressively becoming a smaller and smaller shareholder.
Hello Share Crimpers. My favourite insurance giant is Legal and General (LGEN). But the old Royal Insurance, now called RSA (RSA) is still in my bag. And it’s doing rather nicely, if not brilliantly. In share price terms, at least.
What a funny day today for some of my FTSE-100 preferred names. Carolyn McCall was never off my Christmas card list, but I might risk a present now, after her soothing words in ITV's (ITV) trading statement today where online and Studios romped and the World Cup shines brightly for the near-future. That's perfectly inline with my hopes as discussed in my last write-up HERE. And with Liberty Media flush with Vodafone's (VOD) cash you never know whether it might build up its stake materially.
Back in the 1500s, a financial agent of Queen Elizabeth Thomas Gresham observed that that “bad money drives out good.” That is, if two kinds of coinage are circulating of the same legal value, people will spend the lower-quality money and save the better.
It has been a couple of months since I wrote up my thoughts on UK banking bad boy Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) HERE. The share has basically done nothing in the interim period but today's first quarter update continues the positive operational progress with income up a tad, the net interest margin flat, costs down and capital generation up. There was even a nod towards the scope for a dividend sooner rather than later and the general need for prudence in managing a UK-focused business currently. And the reaction of the shares? Down a couple of percent.
Picking shares should be easy, right? Find a company where both profits and cash flow generation are improving plus where investor sentiment is shot to bits and the Gods of both fundamental analysis and investor psychology should be on your side.
Hello, Share Miners. The four big British banks are still avoided like rattlesnakes by many share shifters. But there will come a time when everybody finally forgets what happened in 2008 - and most of the other banking shocks, since.
Hello Share Snackers. Once again, at the risk of irritating this website’s very good friend Wildrides, I turn to another British bank. Though it’s hated by many share shifters because of its ten year old wallow in the depths of despond, RBS (RBS) at last shows signs of a more permanent recovery.
FreeAgent Holdings (FREE), a provider of cloud-based accounting software and mobile applications designed specifically for UK micro-businesses, “is pleased to report continued strong revenue growth with an evolving channel mix”. The shares have currently responded more than 8% lower, to 83p. Hmmm…
Hello Share Scorchers. There are still quite a few of our regular readers who can only glean the first paragraph of each article. Just to save less than £1.50 a week. Don’t they realise they would retrieve thousands of pounds just by following our warnings about dodgy cpmpanies they might otherwise stay with till the very end? I can’t understand human nature, and never will.
Hello, Share Sippers. My Honkers Bonkers (HSBA) shares are rising nicely. But at much less than 800p, they are still way short of previous bests of 1200p. And that was so long ago that Shakespeare was still a lad.
Hello Share Smirkers. Normally I favour Lloyds (LLOY) when commending banks to your further inspection. But progress on that bank’s share price has been hesitant on days when its rival RBS (RBS) motors ahead. Though of late, RBS has weakened too - a casualty of the political uncertainty which becomes even more uncertain as the days roll by.
ShareSoc it is starting to serve up some opinions of worth. Its latest comment on the RBS scandal is bang on the money and shows why the UK Financial system is flawed and will screw we little people every time.
At 5.30 PM on the Friday before the bank holiday, no-one is watching O'Clock, Fusionex (FXI) said that it was to delist from AIM. The shares closed the day off 2p at 129p but will absolutely crater Tuesday as this stinks as we have warned you so many times - as you can see HERE. Once again we are vindicated and the City pump & promote machine must hang its head in shame.
Hello Share Gobblers. My relationship with RSA Insurance Group (RSA) goes back to the long-gone days when it was Royal Insurance. And it has generally not been a happy one.
Hello Share Trundlers. It’s only with extreme caution that I commend any British banks to your eagle eye, having lost a stack of my own money on them even since 2007. But I am rather more hopeful about all of the big British ones now.
I expect shares in Cloudtag (CTAG) to resume trading on Monday and then to tank. I explain why. I look at the issue of portfolio allocation something too many folks ignore at their peril. Then I look at executive pay at RBS, Unilever *(ULVR) and elsewhere. I wonder if Theresa May means it about looking after ordinary working people. Surely RBS is an easy test for her. As a capitalist I find blue chip executive greed distasteful and worrying.
Hello Share Plodders. For a year or two now I've been saying that British banks are worth a re-look, if only because the number of fines and compensatory payments are bound to diminish soon. Now it looks as though the bank shares I've been suggesting most are set to rattle ahead even faster than the last few weeks. And their recent progress has already been encouraging.
Hello Share Baiters. That awful share to hold, Lloyds Group (LLOY) may be getting less arduous. There is some optimism in the City that the current disappointing share price may rise 20% or so to beat 75p. Presently it’s around 66p.
Hello Share Carollers. Despite Wild Rides’ consistent scepticism, I still favour investing in all of the four biggest banks at the mo. The recent rallies of Barclays (BARC) RBS (RBS) Lloyds(LLOY) and the Honkers Bonkers (HSBA) surely support this view.
Hello Share Planners. You may have noticed all the UK banks have been rising over the last few days. This has happened even though the rest of the Footsie has been pretty stodgy. The reason, I think, is that Italian banks have become even more unreliable, and by unfair association, the banks of other Eurozone countries.
Hello Share Wallowers. It’s all happening at the old Royal Bank of Scotland, now known boringly as RBS (RBS). It’s all about ownership of its smaller Williams and Glyn business. Spain’s Banco Santander was round the table with W and G, but then it pulled out, reportedly over differences about the price. But now the Glasgow bank Clydesdale (CYBG) may step in.
Hello Share Puddlers. The Honkers Bonkers bank (HSBA) has been doing rather well on the old share front of late. Each day seems to bring another 1% or so. This is encouraging news for me as the family has rather a big holding which is at least 40 years old.
You can do a lot in 100 days. Back in April I was musing about the large UK banks and puckered up some ‘geek analysis’ on Lloyds (LLOY) which basically suggested a double digit trading opportunity was apparent…and so it came to pass over the next four to six week. A month or so later Brexit and the shares fell out of favour. Despite the grumblings in Lloyds statement last week I am getting similar feelings about an investing opportunity here again. What did I conclude last time?
So you think blue chip shares are safe? Hat tip to a Mr N Wray from London for the table below which proves that they are not.had you stuck £5,000 into all the stocks in the FTSE 100 10 years ago in 17 cases you would have lost money in absolute terms. The worst investment would be RBS (RBS) where your initial £5,000 would today be worth £191. Other household names such as Tesco (TSCO), Marks & Sparks (MKS) and Aviva (AV.) were just dogs. As the table below shows even supposedly safe blue chips carry risk.
Hello Share Scrummers. In my humble opinion, British banks are among the biggest bargains in Shareland at the mo. Though I was in two minds about foisting this opinion on you, as banks have a marvellous talent for letting us down. They’ve been doing that steadily since the big crashes of 2007 and 8. But I really do think the shares have been oversold since the result of the Brexit vote. They fell a heck of a lot. Without their failure, the Footsie which eventually rocketed on the decision to leave the EU, would have been near the elusive 7000 level by now.
Hello Share Chippers. I rate my large number of oil stocks in the same bracket I consider banks - a real solid gold let down. As I mainly invested in oil and banks because I once thought the sectors were relatively safe, I am even more disappointed. Banks of course have been a drain on our pockets ever since the big crunch of 2007. Whereas oil has only recently taken a nasty dive.
Hello Share Screamers. I was going to sell my bulky haul of RBS (RBS) shares - until I saw the latest set of results. Of course, I should have sold them a few years ago when the price was around 500p. Now it’s around 220p. But I dare to think that things may improve now.
It will come as no surprise to readers of ShareProphets that main market listed Goldenport Holdings (GPRT) is to leave the LSE, as announced this morning. Shareholders are set to lose everything just as predicted (see HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE) but amazingly the shares are still trading pro tem. You can still get your bad of crisps….or perhaps just a couple of penny chews, for the shares have collapsed (so far) by 70% today, to 1.5p mid. So there is another 1.5p to go….
Hello Share Scrimpers. Here I go again - recommending a bank for your scrutiny. I sometimes wonder why I bother, as the big British banks have an eight-year-old habit of letting us down.
The stockmarket has been heading only one way so far this year, RBS says you should sell everthing and it is tempting to just bury one's head in the sand. So maybe we are crazy? No we are not - the time to buy is when there is blood on the streets and everyone is panicking. And right now that seems to sum up the stockmarket. And that is why we will be publishing a new hot share tip at 2 PM on TODAY, 20th January and you can access that share tip for as little as £5 HERE
With Santa apparently due to make his big arrival at my local garden centre next Saturday the starting gun has been fired for the rundown to the end of the year. And for the medium-term investor in me this only means one thing: which sectors, themes and stocks are looking interesting for 2016?
Hello Share Swipers. You have to admire the sheer cussedness of stock markets. Nobody could accuse most of its movements of following predictable patterns.
Hello Share Scrunchers. The four big British banks are looking like bargains to me. And I know that as soon as I say something like that, the many who take an opposite view will be sharpening their pencils.
Hello Share Fans. Well, that was a bummer. There I was expecting Zurich to put in a strong offer for RSA (RSA) the big insurance combine. There was talk of £5.50 from the present going rate of 5.15p which had already been boosted greatly by the preliminaries to merger.
Hello Share Fans. As most shares seem to be falling these days most of the time, it’s probably not the time to bring you any red-hot tips. Even the best of companies wobble when the tide goes out.
Lloyds Bank (LLOY) is a real letdown for private investors, these days. And I wonder why. My view is that the government are, behind closed doors, flooding the market with their own shares. Obviously, if two many buns are knocking about the cafe, the public appetite wains.
Hello Share Stalkers. You may have gathered that I favour investing in the big British banks. My main reason is that they were great once, with yummy share values - and that even if we get half way back to the days of glory, our purchases now will be quids in later on.
Oh dear, poor old Quindell (QPP). Following news of the FCA investigation and additional internal checks on Rob Terry’s accounting fraud, I can reveal that those plan ing a class action have now appointed a top barrister as they prepare to lodge a claim. This is an additional threat to the special dividend this fraudulent company had promised.
Hello Share Shooters. While this Greek farrago continues to make investments in the Footsie and mid cap range a bit scary, I’ll continue with my trilogy on how to handle shares, which are not likely to be affected by the Euro crisis. So I make a few more observations about the best way to dabble in penny shares.
Hello Share Shovellers. There will be the usual shouts of horror when I mention shares in the four big British banks.
Hello Share Twirlers. So George of the Treasury Jungle has decreed that its Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) shares are to be sold off, probably at a loss to the tax-payer. You’ll recall that the shares have to go for about £5 each to recoup the money - that’s nearly £1.50p more than the present market price.
The Depression era US President Franklin Roosevelt is probably not often mentioned on this site but his dictum that ‘there is nothing to fear but fear itself’ is inadvertently one of the best pieces of stock market advice you are likely to read. Let’s consider this in respect of some of Britain’s best loved bank shares Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds (LLOY).
The only story of real interest in UK larger cap shares today is a strategy update by the banking behemoth HSBC (HSBA) which has finally got some focus on what they it wants its business to look like in a few years time. I noted a little over a month ago that:
Although it is evident that there have been and remain rather questionable fundamentals behind RBS (RBS), the shares have rather outperformed over the recent past. It would appear that the current position on the daily chart shows a stock which is struggling.
Hello Share Tweekers. I recently wrote about RBS (RBS), the old Royal Bank of Scotland, observing that the share price now is still only 4% of its previous high. That previous high was over £9 and was reached just before the bank crisis of 2007/8.
Hello Share Shapers. While composing an essay about RBS (RBS), I found myself writing that their shares are now only worth 4% of what they used to fetch before the great credit crunch of 2008.
Following interim results from online fashion retailer ASOS (ASC) yesterday, I concluded that the valuation discounted heroic improvement from what is presently being delivered and looks to leave precious little margin for any concern to have an at all material impact – see HERE. The following reviews the response of the broker community…
Hello Share Changers. My recent support for a couple of big British firms has been criticised by Uncle Tom this week
Lloyds (LLOY) is a bank which deserves a better share price. Its shares reached 86p in 2014, which was a huge improvement on its best performance in the year before.
Lloyds (LLOY) has passed the recent ‘stress test’ imposed by Prudential Regulation Authority, the Bank of England’s regulator. This test examined whether banks could cope with a severe economic downturn. The woes included a 35% drop in house prices, a hike in interest rates and unemployment reaching a high of 12%.
Hello Share Shunters. I'm doing my Christmas cards. This is no quick task as I like to put news letters in each one. And none of these poxy Round Robins for everyone, either
Hello Share Twiddlers. Patriotism can be a dangerous thing. I don’t altogether agree with it. But watching ‘The Last Night of the Proms’ at the weekend, I was struck by the pure fun people were having singing Rule Britannia. It was also uplifting to see all those Union Jacks being waved at the same time as Welsh dragons and Scottish flags.
Lloyds, RBS, HSBC, Shell, Asda... they can’t all be wrong. All these business people would be screaming for Scotland to be independent if it would make them more money. But it will lose them a lot of money, which is why they are speaking out. The most convincing statement for me was from Douglas Flint, chairman of HSBC. You don’t get to be chairman of HSBC unless you know about money.
Hello Share Sharpers: Uncle Tom is showing his tremendous moral courage on this outstanding website yet again. Let’s all marvel at some of his forthright and detailed posts over the last few days. May I also exhibit a small show of bravery by drawing your attention once again to Lloyds Bank (LLOY). This is perhaps more foolhardy than courageous, though, as the beggars have let me down so often since the big crunch days of 2008.
Hello Share Shakers: The banks have had a hard time of it. Yes, I know that's a kind way of putting it. No sooner do they overcome one set-back than the next one raises an ugly head. At the moment, the big worry is that some overbearing authority will bang in another ludicrously big fine.
On Friday we had the preliminary interim results from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.) Whereas one might have might have expected something slow and vaporous, they were instead robust and tangible enough to push the share price to rise not so much like the slowly rising ghost from the deep grave of its former self but more like a rocket on Guy Fawke's night. The numbers which lit the touch paper of the market’s hopes and best expectations were the reported figures for profits before tax and the operating profits during the first half.
Hello Share Tweakers: Royal Insurance, or RSA Insurance (RSA) as they're known these days, has been a loser in my bag. I've held them ever since I dated Boudicea. But they've done nothing big for me.
Which two recent managerial appointments for companies in or close to the FTSE-100 have the scope to really surprise? Serco (SRP) and RSA Insurance Group (RSA) look like the most likely candidates to me, as I explain below.
One of the factors that contributed to the great British banking collapse of 2007-8 was lax regulation, something which is perfectly understandable if as a regulator you are dealing with your future employer.