Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some Royal Mail Share Certificates Issued In Error

The Telegraph reports that an employee of Equiniti, the firm handling Royal Mail shares bought via the Government's website, has admitted that a software error was responsible for investors being mistakenly issued with share certificates, according to one shareholder.

The shareholder contacted The Telegraph to say that a member of the company's call centre staff, had "spilt the beans" about the error on the Equiniti web page on which customers chose how they wanted to hold the shares.

The receipt of physical certificates can delay the speed at which an investor wishes to sell/receive the proceeds from the sale of his/her share allocation.

When asked previously about the large numbers of people who claimed to have received unwanted certificates, Equiniti said:
"We have investigated cases which have been brought to our attention and in these cases our records show that share certificates were opted for."

Friday, October 25, 2013

UK Economy Grows By 0.8%

ONS statistics published today show that Britain's economy grew by 0.8% between July and September of this year, that is the best performance since Q2 2010. The services sector accounted for the majority of the growth, itself growing by 0.7%.

It is encouraging to note that Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has said that the Bank will not rush to raise interest rates or withdraw support for banks.

Now if the government could only bring itself to simplify the tax system, and indeed lower taxes, we might be assured that this growth can be maintained!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Dangers of Contactless Cards

There has been some controversy over the security of "contactless" payment cards (which don't require Pin numbers, merely contact with a reader for payments of up to £20).

All well and good, so long as the right card makes the payment and the wrong one doesn't make a payment when it merely passes by a reader (primed to deduct a payment) because it is in someone's pocket/wallet.

The banking industry have denied there is such a problem.

However, First Direct has written to its customers, as per the Telegraph:
"We have made changes to clarify that if you have a contactless debit card you must remove it from your wallet or purse before using it to make a contactless payment."
A spokeswoman said:
"If you don't remove cards from your wallet there is a danger the payment may be taken from the wrong card. It could be a bit of a nightmare if it came from a card where there wasn't enough money."
In other words there is a potential problem with these cards, not least the possibility that a suitably well positioned felon (ie standing near a person who has a contactless card) with technical knowledge could electronically pick your pocket!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Greece's Budget Deficit Falls

Apparently, if statistics from eurostat can be believed, Greece's budget deficit for 2012 has been revised down from 10% of GDP to 9%

However, before popping the champagne corks, it should be remembered that debt stands at 156.9% of GDP.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Royal Mail Shares

Shares in Royal Mail closed at 489p on the company's first day of full trading on Tuesday, as at the time of writing they currently stand at 475p.

They were priced at 330p.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Royal Mail Bonanza

Conditional dealings in Royal Mail that began to day for City institutions produced an initial rise of 38% (456p on the offer price of 330p), this fell back to around 444p.

Private investors will receive 227 shares each, and official listing/trading will commence next Tuesday.

Back to the 1980's we come!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Royal Mail Sell Off

Sky News reports that over 100,000 members of the public have applied to buy shares in Royal Mail ahead of last night's deadline. This makes the £3.3BN sale one of the largest privatisations for decades.

Approximately 150,000 Royal Mail staff will receive about £2200 of free shares.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

USA In Shutdown

The USA is in financial shutdown, as Congress has failed to find a solution to the ongoing financial impasse (ie increasing the debt ceiling).

As a result, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will be put on leave without pay and all but the most critical government services will be halted for the first time in 17 years.

Methinks the voters of America will be less than impressed with the antics of their politicians.