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Drachmatic Interlude

Amid reports that the next generation of euro banknotes will be printed on greeceproof paper, David Cowell of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers  remains optimistic that the ring-fencing of risk can be successfully completed.


Latest photo of the euro negotiations:

fencing for seniors

My grandson wanted to know what it was like to live in Greece, so I took his pocket money off him.


Interesting budget, but too soon to make a judgement. The new dividend tax regime needs some study.


Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins is to leave the bank as the board of directors calls for a change in leadership with a “new set of skills”. As he was appointed to clean up the naughties after his predecessor was forced out by the regulator, does this mean that they are looking for another Bob Diamond?


China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 22 per cent by Monday since hitting a seven-year high on12 June.  Speculation suggests that much of the sell-off has been attributable to leveraged stock investors being forced to liquidate their holdings. The Shanghai Composite index plunged a further 8% on opening on Wednesday, taking the drop in share values to 30% since their June peak.

The Chinese are good gamblers but poor investors. As if to demonstrate this, the SCI rebounded 6% on Thursday. In a drastic step to prop up the market, China’s securities regulator banned shareholders with large stakes in listed firms from selling! Now that’s a market!!


Sanlam UK was able to report a profit for 2014 because of the £10m sale of the group’s stake in Intrinsic Financial Services. Annual results for the group reveal profits before tax last year fell by two thirds from £28.47m in 2013 to £9.43m in 2014. The results state the group’s shareholding in Intrinsic was sold triggering the repayment of all loans and preference share dividends due to the company. On top of this, a settlement amount of £10m was received that accounts for the profit in the company.

Sanlam’s 2013 profit came after the wealth managers sold their 21.6 per cent stake in actuarial consultants Punter Southall Group back to the principals and staff at the firm. This must be the way to do it; sell assets to make it look like you are trading profitably.


Hideo Shiozumi, the manager of the Legg Mason IF Japan Equity Fund, is now predicting the Nikkei index will rise as high as 30,000 over the next few years; up from its current level of 20,236 at the end of June.

He is quoted as saying: “Among domestic investors, a key driver has been Japanese pension funds shifting money from domestic bonds to domestic shares. This is a new milestone for the market.” He believes this  signifies “an escape from years of stagnation”, and signals the emergence of “new market leaders”.

I agree. Over the year to 29 June it is up 24% versus a sector average of 17%, while over three years it is the best performing fund with a return of 110% against an average 45% for the sector, according to FE Trustnet. We are investors.


People are forever putting lawyers down – however, there are some generous ones. One afternoon a lawyer was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. He asked one man, “Why are you eating grass?” “We don’t have any money for food,” and the poor man replied. “We have to eat grass.”

“Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you,” the lawyer said. “But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there under that tree.” “Bring them along,” the lawyer replied.. Turning to the other poor man he stated, “You may come with us, also with your family.”

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine. Once under way, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, “Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.”

The lawyer replied, “Glad to do it. You’ll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high.”


Have a good weekend.

 

David Cowell

Director

For and on behalf of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers

1 Woodside Mews

Clayton Wood Close

Leeds

LS16 6QE

Tel:        0113 274 7700

Fax:       0113 274 7711

www.myddletoncroft.co.uk

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