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The Companies and Markets show: Budget preview + London's shaky market

On this episode of the Companies and Markets Show, Dan Jones hosts a discussion on the fate of the London market. How can it hope to compete with a new age of US state subsidies? 


Next up is the Budget preview with IC economics expert Hermione Taylor. How can a "black hole" turn into a "windfall", according to chancellor Jeremy Hunt? And what will this mean in terms of announcements next week? 


Finally, Michael Fahy joins the pod to discuss his long read this week on buy-and-build M&A: M&A masters: the stocks successfully buying growth


Dan Jones hosts Alex Newman, Mark Robinson, Hermione Taylor and Michael Fahy.

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  • British bargains & heritage brands: The Companies and Markets Show

    36:51
    We begin with Julian Hofmann, whose latest article covers the companies left behind as doom and gloom takes hold of the British market. Many investors have been turning their noses up at British stocks but Julian says there is still value to be found. He touches on some of these, such as furniture brand DFS, and how investors can calculate a share’s value. Next is Jemma Slingo who reports on the world’s leading thread manufacturer and British heritage brand Coats. The company recently released full-year results which show it’s making great progress internally, which can be attributed in a large amount to its production move from the US to Mexico. Jemma explores the progress of the company in the wider market and its current value case. Carrying on the theme of 18th-century British businesses, Mark Robinson joins to discuss ceramics company Churchill China. Mark and Dan discuss how the company is recovering from the pandemic and lockdowns that halted the hospitality industry, its main source of revenue.Timestamps1:17 British bargains13:59 Coats22:36 Churchill China
  • ‘It’s exciting in the investment trust sphere': Joe Bauernfreund of AVI

    31:19
    Joe Bauernfreund and value investing are nearly synonymous. The veteran manager runs the AVI Global Trust and AVI Japan Opportunity Trust, and has responsibility for all AVI’s investment decisions as the CEO and CIO. His £1bn global stocks fund scours the world for the best companies but whose shares stand at a discount to the value of their underlying assets.In this podcast, funds editor Dave Baxter and Bauernfreund unpack his extreme value investment process, how Japanese valuations have changed, how to avoid value traps and more. This episode was recorded on 27 March. Timestamps1:02 The investment process of the fund2:34 Activist investing4:27 Hipgnosis (HSF)5:23 Baunerfreund’s take on investment trusts7:07 Recovery in the trust space11:00 The resilience of certain sectors12:38 Private Equity 16:58 The era of higher rates 18:32 The Japanese market21:04 Competition in the space22:32 Interesting sectors or themes in Japan23:33 Other nations the fund is gravitated towards25:28 Emerging markets 27:26 The reasons to exit a position and selling Pershing Square  
  • Tesla woes, travel’s rebound & investing during rate cuts: The Companies and Markets Show

    31:47
    We begin with one of the biggest names in the EV game: Tesla (TSLA). Shares are down by a third this year and Mark Robinson discusses what has caused this slump. Competition from China’s BYD certainly poses a threat but diminishing trust and popularity are also at play.Next, the author of our cover feature this week, Christopher Akers, shares his thinking behind the piece The travel stocks making the most of the recovery. Many companies are reporting record trading, an interesting occurrence given rising rates, an economic downturn and what was a catastrophic pandemic. Dan and Chris discuss the bargain valuations available for investors and whether the rebound can continue.Last but not least, Hermione Taylor unpacks her article on investing while interest rates are being cut. She dives into what history tells us about stock market performance in a rate cut cycle, current forecasts and how investors can benefit over the coming months.More on TeslaWill the Magnificent Seven go down to six?Meet the new electric vehicle top dog1:16 Tesla (TSLA)12:53 The travel stocks making the most of the recovery23:09 Investing at a time of interest rate cuts
  • Britain’s top-rated funds & Fevertree: The Companies and Markets Show

    31:37
    Mark Robinson hosts this week’s episode and begins with a rundown of the latest news in the financial world, from Donald Trump’s Trust Social listing to the Bank of England’s warning on private equity bubbles. This week’s cover feature on Britain’s top-rated funds is up first. Dave Baxter shares what readers can expect from the article, including the trends picked up by our analysis and the big-hitting funds that can boost portfolios. Julian Hofmann discusses the credit card and loan-focussed bank Vanquis Banking (VANQ) which recently released results. He and Mark discuss whether its doorstep lending model is more or less redundant in today’s age, and consider the reasons it’s trading at such a large discount.Lastly, Christopher Akers unpacks the contrasting results of two beverage companies, Fevertree (FEVR) and AG Barr (A.G.). With the US now its biggest market, Chris looks at whether Fevertree can keep investors and customers interested across the pond. He also explains how AG Barr transformed itself into a “highly successful multi-beverage, branded company”.Timestamps1:37 News rundown 5:15 Britain’s top-rated funds – as picked by analysts 14:32 Vanquis Banking results23:11 UK beverage producers Fevertree and AG Barr
  • ‘Cultural attitudes around investing need to change’: Lee and the IC

    41:24
    Alex and Lord Lee have reunited for the seventh episode of Lee and the IC, two weeks on from Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget. The announcement of a British Isa could shake up the UK’s private investing landscape so the pair begin by mulling over the practicality of the tax shelter and how future governments can improve the public’s attitudes towards investing.In his statement, Hunt also announced the government would be selling its NatWest (NWG) shares, which could be the move to get the ball rolling on Lord Lee’s gifting shares to schools idea, a method to increase investing literacy. Lord Lee then answers questions from listeners on how he generates investment ideas and whether stop-losses are a part of his method. As with each episode, the pair wrap up the conversation by discussing some of Lord Lee’s holdings, including Ampario (AMP), M&G (MNG) and Treatt plc (TET), which Investors’ Chronicle also profiled last week here.This episode was recorded on 21 March.Timestamps1:31 A British Isa 3:24 How future governments can improve cultural attitudes to investing5:54 Overseas shares tax exemption within Isas9:41 Inheritance tax and Isas 12:49 Gifting shares to schools 20:05 Reader questions – does Lord Lee use stop-losses? 23:24 How he checks in on his portfolio24:48 How he generates investing ideas26:28 Will he write a sequel to his book How to make a million slowly?27:30 Anpario (ANP)32:55 Genus (GNS) and Benchmark Holdings (BMK)34:58 M&G (MNG)
  • Vodafone’s fortunes & UK’s tech stocks: The Companies and Markets Show

    36:01
    We begin this week’s episode discussing specialist engineering company Dowlais (DWL) which has found itself making a considerable £450mn operating loss. Mark Robinson shares his thoughts on the business's health since the spin-off from Melrose and debates the effect the EV transition will have on the company.Dan Jones then stops asking the questions and answers them on his recent feature on Vodafone (VOD). Investors may struggle to name a more disappointing stock since the turn of the century, and Dan analyses the chances of the business turning its fortune around, and what the dividend cut means for investors. Julian Hofmann then shares his thoughts on the telecom industry at large.Last but not least, Arthur Sants joins from New York to discuss this week’s cover feature on UK software stocks, and the ability of AI to either boost or break a business. He explains the rationale behind the piece and changes in the sector, while the team discuss some of the companies analysed in the piece, including Sage and Bytes Technology.Timestamps1:13 Dowlais 10:08 Vodafone 22:15 Finding the UK's software successes24:25 Sage27:38 Bytes Technology 
  • 'We should redefine what a recession is': Abby Glennie of Abrdn UK Smaller Companies fund

    47:59
    In the latest episode of the IC Interviews, Dan Jones hosts Abby Glennie, deputy head of smaller companies and co-manager of UK smaller companies strategies at Abrdn. As part of Abrdn, Glennie has been pivotal in the world of domestic small-cap shares. In the show, the pair discuss some of the Abrdn UK Smaller Companies fund's holdings, including Bytes Technology, 4Imprint and CVS Group, as well as the current angst over the UK market, portfolio allocation changes, and the ‘Matrix’ stock screen.Timestamps1:17 What Glennie makes of the angst over the UK market8:10 Allocation changes to the portfolio in recent months 11:58 What the valuation process at Abrdn involves14:03 What does the Abrdn ‘Matrix’ screen look for18:33 Bytes Technology21:22 4imprint24:35 Hill & Smith29:59 CVS Group35:31 Food producers Hilton and Cranswick40:35 UK video game stocks42:42 The general rules on position sizing 44:46 Diploma and when to sell a holding 
  • The Isa Special 2024: The Companies and Markets Show

    40:31
    We begin this week’s episode with TP Icap, the interdealer broker. Julian Hofmann reports on the figures that came out recently, and he and Dan discuss the divisions driving performance, its electronic trading push and the business's valuation. Val Cipriani, author of this week’s cover feature the IC’s guide to Isas 2024, then runs us through the importance of understanding the allowances, the ‘simplification’ changes made and some of the platforms investors can utilise.  Last up, Mark Robinson discusses the recent results from Hill & Smith (HILS). Which of its business arms are performing best? And how does this compare with Costain’s (COST) results?
  • The Budget explained & the importance of dividends: The Companies and Markets Show

    45:14
    The chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled his Spring Budget and so we begin with economics expert Hermione Taylor unpacking all the major announcements. She explains what it could mean for the upcoming election and the impact on the country’s finances. The team also weigh in on the new British Isa – something that has divided the investing world.The Budget isn’t the only big news, results season is in full swing and Julian Hoffman covers one of the most popular UK companies: Legal & General (LGEN). Is it putting too much value into the pension value market? And after announcing an increased dividend, taking its yield to 9 per cent, he explains what investors should expect in the future.It’s then onto our cover feature of the week on dividends. Alex Newman, author of the story, explains the thinking behind the piece and gives some historical context on the topic. The attitude toward dividends differs on either side of the Atlantic, with UK investors being more in favour, so Alex unpacks this and the vital case for dividends in today’s investment landscape.Last but not least, Mark Robinson runs through the recent £1nb takeover of Spirent Communications by Viavi Solutions Inc. He discusses the background of the deal and ponders whether the bid itself is too optimistic.