Currencies

Nomura rounds up markets’ biggest misses in 2016

Forecasting markets a year in advance is never easy, but with “year-ahead investment themes” season well underway, Nomura has provided a handy reminder of quite how difficult it is, with an overview of markets’ biggest hits and misses (OK, mostly misses) from the start of 2016. The biggest miss among analysts, according to Nomura’s Sam […]

Continue Reading

Property

Spanish construction rebuilds after market collapse

Property developer Olivier Crambade founded Therus Invest in Madrid in 2004 to build offices and retail space. For five years business went quite well, and Therus developed and sold more than €300m of properties. Then Spain’s economy imploded, taking property with it, and Mr Crambade spent six years tending to Dhamma Energy, a solar energy […]

Continue Reading

Currencies

Euro suffers worst month against the pound since financial crisis

Political risks are still all the rage in the currency markets. The euro has suffered its worst slump against the pound since 2009 in November, as investors hone in on a series of looming battles between eurosceptic populists and establishment parties at the ballot box. The single currency has shed 4.5 per cent against sterling […]

Continue Reading

Banks

RBS falls 2% after failing BoE stress test

Royal Bank of Scotland shares have slipped 2 per cent in early trading this morning, after the state-controlled lender emerged as the biggest loser in the Bank of England’s latest round of annual stress tests. The lender has now given regulators a plan to bulk up its capital levels by cutting costs and selling assets, […]

Continue Reading

Currencies

China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Equities

Boardroom trades December 21


Posted on December 21, 2013

Directors at Arcontech Group were buying shares in June just before a trading embargo imposed ahead of annual results.

Dealers assumed that the show of confidence by senior directors Richard Last and Matthew Jeffs might herald forecast-busting results in August, so news of continued losses disappointed and the shares fell back to their June levels – as low as 10p – in the weeks that followed.

    The market data business has increased sales this year and continued to invest.

    Despite the volatility, shareholders have doubled their money this year as the stock was trading above 13p last Wednesday, following further investment by Mr Last.

    He added 51m shares to increase his stake by a third, while finance director Michael Levy held a more modest stake – but followed up on Monday by trebling it.

    There were also two buyers at rival software group Micro Focus whose shares have added about 25 per cent this year. The gains put chairman Kevin Loosemore ahead on his £154,000 investment last December and he followed up in June as shares recovered from a bout of weakness.

    Last Friday he bought for a third time, joining finance director Michael Phillips who increased his stake via options and invested a further £13,000 on market.

    Sector peer SDL has an office presence in many countries but has found trading conditions tough this year, prompting the board to lower its profit expectations again for the current year.

    The shares fell to 252p following the October announcement, but have been trading ahead this month. Mark Lancaster made his largest purchase to date on Monday to increase his stake by 75 per cent. He banked profits on five occasions between 2003 and 2010 as the shares rose.

    Shares in Carpetright have dipped since founder Lord Harris sold a £2.7m stake in October. The disposal left 97 per cent of his stake intact but with dealers fretting over a high stock rating and poor trading conditions in Europe, the price fell as low as 515p this month – off 25 per cent for the year.

    Sentiment did not improve on Tuesday when Lord Harris sold again. He was joined by his son, commercial director Martin Harris, who parted with a smaller stake last week.

    Directors’ deals – December 18, 2013

    Company name Sector Deal date Amount Value (£) No of dir Holding
     BUY
    32Red Travel & Leisure 12 Dec 13 75,000 50,625 1 Not Reported
    Amati VCT Equity Inv. 11 Dec 13 55,855 42,126 2 321,787
    Arbuthnot Banking Group Financial Serv. 17 Dec 13 3,000 37,500 1 8,190,901
    Arcontech Group Software & Comp 13 Dec 13 55,000,000 60,500 2 203,339,595
    Arsenal Holdings Travel & Leisure 12 Dec 13 13 199,000 1 41,596
    Barr (A G) Beverages 13 Dec 13 50,000 282,375 1 19,961
    Bioquell Healthcare 12 Dec 13 180,000 243,000 2 1,113,113
    BP Oil & Gas Prod 17 Dec 13 10,690 50,011 1 22,320
    Centaur Media Media 11 Dec 13 90,000 49,500 1 90,000
    Digital Barriers Support Services 13 Dec 13 282,712 455,167 3 5,603,344
    Genesis Emerging Markets Fund Ltd Equity Inv. 09 Dec 13 7,690 39,411 1 7,690
    Iofina Oil & Gas Prod 17 Dec 13 150,000 150,000 1 1,400,000
    Kazakhmys Mining 17 Dec 13 27,000 52,969 2 32,000
    London Mining Plc Industrial Metal 17 Dec 13 107,227 108,997 3 266,605
    Macau Property Opportunities Fund Real Estate 12 Dec 13 250,000 506,250 1 4,650,000
    Man Group Financial Serv. 18 Dec 13 60,947 49,641 1 Not Reported
    Medgenics Inc Pharma & Biotech 13 Dec 13 24,500 81,564 2 130,500
    Micro Focus International Software & Comp 11 Dec 13 9,912 77,677 2 343,847
    Mondi Plc Forestry & Paper 10 Dec 13 5,000 48,646 1 Not Reported
    Phoenix Group Holdings Life Insurance 11 Dec 13 7,123 48,929 2 7,123
    Planet Payment Inc Support Services 13 Dec 13 75,000 101,681 1 580,000
    Reckitt Benckiser Group Household Goods 12 Dec 13 13,629 629,623 1 13,629
    Rexam Gen. Industrials 16 Dec 13 10,000 48,728 1 47,000
    SDL Software & Comp 16 Dec 13 515,350 1,546,565 1 1,201,994
    Soco International Oil & Gas Prod 12 Dec 13 50,000 192,485 1 9,058,820
    Spirent Communications Technol Hardware 11 Dec 13 50,000 50,395 1 180,481
    Symphony International Holdings Ltd Financial Serv. 12 Dec 13 250,000 112,702 1 51,614,062
    Unilever Plc Food Producers 11 Dec 13 2,099 50,880 1 212,032
     SELL
    Carpetright Gen. Retailers 17 Dec 13 2,500,000 13,240,000 2 16,257,816
    CLS Holdings Real Estate 17 Dec 13 20,000 244,000 1 82,548
    Lancashire Holdings Limited Insurance 11 Dec 13 40,000 307,800 1 0
    Local Shopping Reit REITs 11 Dec 13 2,400,000 576,000 1 5,255,171
    M.P. Evans Group Food Producers 13 Dec 13 12,000 56,640 1 435,065
    Mears Group Support Services 13 Dec 13 22,420 102,473 1 50,000
    MoneySupermarket.com Media 16 Dec 13 500,000 900,000 1 465,362
    Optimal Payments Support Services 12 Dec 13 25,000 82,750 1 100,463
    Pearson Media 16 Dec 13 38,751 497,721 1 397,017
    Peel Hotels Travel & Leisure 11 Dec 13 300,000 228,030 1 50,000
    Whitbread Travel & Leisure 16 Dec 13 10,850 384,587 1 20,943
     Value cut-off £35,000; Source: Directorsdeals.com