British Gazette readers will no doubt have read in the newspapers about Lord Ashcroft’s allegations regarding Mr Cameron and a certain deceased animal of the genus Sus.
Yesterday we saw another example of “strangeness” – the culprit on this occasion being a certain Mr George Osborne, sometime Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom. It appeared that Mr Osborne has announced that the government will sell off the final tranche of shares in Lloyds Bank – about 12% of the share capital – to the public in a public offering with all sorts of incentives such as a 5% discount and “bonus shares” for those holding the shares for more than 12 months.
To those such as British Gazette readers and others with a knowledge of how stock markets work, this is depressing news as they will know that the way to get most money for the hard pressed British taxpayer is to sell the 12% holding in Lloyds as follows:
1. Announce that sealed bids will be invited to purchase this shareholding “en bloc.”
2. Set times and a date – between 6:00PM and 11:00PM on a specified Friday evening – when the bids will be received by Mr Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England.
3. Announce that a reserve price will be set.
4. That Mr Carney will announce the successful bidder at Noon that Saturday.
5. Payment has to be made to the bank of England by 5:00PM that Monday.
This is because British Gazette readers well know that any institution wishing to purchase a 12% shareholding in a major bank with excellent prospects will have to pay a substantial premium were they to instruct stockbrokers to purchase such shares on the open market.
Done this way the purchaser would almost certainly be one of the many “sovereign wealth funds” that are in existence.
Doing it the way Mr Osborne plans is actually the WORST POSSIBLE WAY of getting a good return for the taxpayer.
Such public offerings are very expensive to set up and the price got for the shares is always much lower than the market price at the time. The one bit of profit to be made by this method is the sale of those “would have been” bonus shares that would have been issued to shareholders had they not sold their shares before the 12 months.
Of course, our good friend Comrade Corbyn and his fellow socialists will have a field day!
Great joy they will have in excoriating the Unfortunate Osborne. But then, judging from the image of Mistress Kalashnik above, some of these chaps relish such discomfort!
But then as they say in all three Ridings of the County of York: “There’s nowt so queer as folk!”
Declaration of Interest: The Editor is a shareholder in Lloyds Bank and will be taking part in the PO. However it is likely that these two shareholdings will be kept separate, for should Comrade Corbyn ever enter 10 Downing Street, your Editor will want to be able to demonstrate which shares were acquired when so any confiscation proceedings can hopefully be limited to the PO.
Note to Comrade Corbyn: If you wish to confiscate assets lawfully held by a person not convicted of a criminal offence and not in receipt of an order from a civil court for liquidated damages then it is necessary to LEAVE the European Union AND the Single Market.