Liberum Utilities Analyst Peter Atherton appeared on last night's BBC Newsnight current affairs programme to discuss the implication of Ofgem's referral of the energy utility sector to the Competition and Markets Authority.
CLICK HERE >> to see the clip (Ofgem segment starts at 11:42, Peter Atherton's remarks on Ofgem start at 15:00. Overseas viewers may be unable to use the BBC's iPlayer platform).
CLICK HERE >> to read Peter Atherton's full commentary on the Ofgem decision.
"As expected Ofgem today initiated a referral of the energy utility sector to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). However the reasons given by Ofgem for the referral were flimsy at best. Indeed, Ofgem's report seems to describe a market where competition was working. And Ofgem's decision to refer the sector before its own extensive reforms have had the opportunity to work is bizarre We can only conclude that Ofgem has responded to political and media pressure to be "seen to do something". Whilst understandable, Ofgem's action will inevitably damage its own credibility and indeed the credibility of independent economic regulation in the UK."
Below: Peter Atheron, Liberum Utilities Analyst
Two placings on the same day totalling £200 million were supported by Liberum in early March, providing funds for British businesses to expand in real estate and global fertiliser supplies.
Real estate company Shaftesbury PLC announced a placing of new shares at 620p on March 6 to raise £156.6 million. Liberum acted as Joint Corporate Broker and Bookrunner on this transaction.
Shaftesbury invests and manages assets in core central London “villages” such as Carnaby Street (below), Soho, Chinatown, Seven Dials, Covent Garden and Charlotte Street.
Some of the funds raised are to be used to acquire Newport Sandringham at the Eastern end of the Chinatown village for £57.5 million. The balance will provide the company with funds to acquire additional properties and undertake capital improvement projects across the portfolio.
The same day, Sirius Minerals Plc, which seeks to develop a new British potash mine in Yorkshire to meet a rising global need for nutrients to boost food production, announced a £43 million capital raise on March 6, placing new ordinary shares at 12p each. Liberum acted as Joint Global Coordinator, Joint Bookrunner and Joint Corporate Broker on the transaction.
The funds raised will be used to progress project development studies and planning approval applications at its wholly-owned York Potash project near Whitby, Yorkshire.
Sirius is targeting the production of polyhalite (below), a naturally occurring mineral that contains four of the six macro-nutrients required for plant growth.
The company is listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of over £220 million post admission of the new shares.
CLICK HERE to visit Liberum’s fundraising page here to see how we’re helping companies grow.
Russia tested the West's resolve before its Crimean adventures - and found it wanting. In this exclusive four-minute video, Liberum political risk advisor Michael Burleigh explains Russia's long-term thinking, the response of the UK and Europe and the implications for energy security.
About SeaChange Partners
Michael Burleigh is Liberum's political risk advisor and a founding partner with George Walden of SeaChange Partners. He is a regular columnist for The Times and has had a distinguished academic career, including positions as Research Fellow at UCL, New College Oxford, Chairman of International History department at LSE and Visiting Professor at Stanford University, California.
George Walden CMG has been a diplomat, politician and journalist. George is a fluent Russian and Mandarin speaker who has worked in the office of the British Charge d'Affaires in Peking, on the Sovietdesk in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in the British Embassy in Paris. He was responsible for the largest single eviction of KGB agents from London in history. He was then appointed Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for which he was awarded the CMG.
Liberum Banking Analyst Cormac Leech will detail the changing face of Alternative Finance and its growth trajectory at the AltFi Summit 2014 on Tuesday in London, the first European focused event to examine P2P Lending, Crowdfunding and invoice funding.
Click here for event details, agenda and tickets >>
AltFi Summit 2014 is co-sponsored by Liberum and is set to attract up to 250 professional investors, including wealth managers, hedge funds, family offices, venture capitalists, alongside consultants and key industry players.
Among the speakers are Vince Cable, Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills, Simon Champ, CEO of P2PCS, Rhydian Lewis, CEO and Founder of RateSetter, Ed Wray, Co-Founder of Betfair, Giles Andrews, CEO and Co-Founder of Zopa, Anthony Thomson, Founder and Former Chairman of Metro Bank and Samir Desai, Co-Founder and Director at Funding Circle.
Professional investors can contact Cormac Leech (below) on +44 (0) 20 3100 2264
Costain Group plc (Ticker: COST LN) today announced a proposed £75.1m capital raising by way of a Firm Placing, Placing and Open Offer.
Liberum acted as Joint Global Co-ordinator, Joint Bookrunner and Joint Broker to the Company in respect of the transaction, following its appointment as Corporate Broker to the Company in November 2013.
Costain is one of the leading tier one engineering solutions providers to the UK infrastructure, energy and water markets.
The capital raise will provide Costain with the opportunity to accelerate its growth in the medium and long-term in rapidly evolving markets in which it is expected that over £400 billion will be spent in the next ten years.
Costain Group PLC is listed on the LSE Main Market with a current market capitalisation of c£220m.
Company website: Costain Group plc
Research: Will Shirley
Sales: Julian Collett
Corporate access: Regan Connor
Liberum has appointed Daniel Kraus to its New York Equity Sales desk, bringing six years of sales and trading experience to help fuel investor access to European markets.
A one-time professional tennis coach brought up in South Africa, Dan joins us from US institutional broker Wall Street Access.
“Our commitment to serving US investors with access to quality Continental European companies is shown with the appointment of Dan,” said Liberum’s New York CEO Mark Godridge.
Dan’s arrival follows Drew Hendrickson who recently joined Liberum as Senior Sales Trader based in London but with a focus on the US equity client base.
Liberum by the numbers: