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El Oro – surely this isn’t the end of a real life Sir Benjamin Dover?

By Cynical Bear | Monday 12 September 2016


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


A strange RNS from El Oro (ELX) last week but I’m praying it doesn’t signal the end for one of my more enjoyable biannual reads, namely the Chairman’s Statement from Robin Woodbine Parish.

I’ve mentioned before about my affection for interesting and slightly eccentric Chairman letters, when I commented on the missives of Robin Boyle, Chairman of Athelney Trust (ATY) HERE. Well, El Oro is a similar investment trust with an equally eccentric Chairman.

Last Tuesday, El Oro announced that:

“The Directors of the Company have resolved to table a special resolution at the next Annual General Meeting of the Company (which is planned to take place on 17 November 2016) to amend the Company's Articles of Incorporation to provide that the Company be placed into voluntary liquidation, unless the shareholders of the Company pass a special resolution at the Annual General Meeting to be held in or around November 2018 that the Company may continue (the "Resolution").”

I thought this was sad on two fronts.

First, it was inexplicably opaque and I have no real idea what it means – is it really preparing for a voluntary liquidation in November 2018? More importantly though, I was left worrying that it could be the end of the “interesting” Chairman’s Statements.

Tom covered this previously two years ago (well worth a read HERE); however, for newer readers, I recommend taking a walk through the letters that can all be seen HERE. I love the fact that, in this day and age, someone is happy to use the forum of a Chairman’s Statement of a public investment trust to pontificate about not just the ups and downs of the stocks in the portfolio but also ponder about the more important matters of the world whether it be the decline of Christianity and concerns over Islamic State, Brexit considerations, the perils of Quantitative Easing or merely the decline of Manchester United since Alex Ferguson’s departure.

If you were any doubts about his political leanings, he made his thoughts clear when the coalition government replaced the Labour Government in 2010:

“Delightful as it is to have shaken off, albeit incompletely the incompetent, wanton, greedy, blind and obtuse acolytes of the previous administration, along with their insouciant savants who have wreaked such deep and disastrous damage on Britain and its prospects for years to come; and refreshing as it is to hear the confident and clear voice of our new Prime Minister, we cannot help feel that their sortie, however necessary the cuts with which they intend to scythe down the State sector, will stumble if they heed the siren call of Quantitative Easing; or even the wild comments of the Bank of England's Deputy Governor Bean, calling for more Spending from the Consumer, an elementary and inherent part of the present problem. Perhaps he should have paused for longer in BP's Wild Bean cafes before stating his preference for such a policy. The pressures from their coalition allies and mumblings of discontent emerging from within the nation are likely to rise to a crescendo of disgust as the long overdue adjustment in the structure of our economy takes place.”

In the largely dull and sanitised world of the public markets, it is fantastic for someone to be prepared to get a few things off their chest in this manner.

Having a re-read through a few of the letters while writing this piece, my enjoyment was only enhanced by the similarities, albeit only in a couple of respects, with the character from Tom’s excellent recent series of blogs - Sir Benjamin Dover, although to give Robin Woodbine Parish his credit, he doesn’t actually use the word “darkies” at any point.

Have a read and enjoy.  Long may it continue…..


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