Portfolio

Sunday share tips: Panmure Gordon, UK housebuilders, Fastforward Innovations

By Digital Look

Date: Sunday 14 Feb 2016

Sunday share tips: Panmure Gordon, UK housebuilders, Fastforward Innovations

(ShareCast News) - Sell shares in Panmure Gordon said the Sunday Times' Inside the City column. The broker's historic, 140-year-old brand gives it an advantage but as a specialist in small cap and mid-cap clients companies, it has seen its pipeline for flotations, fundraisings and M&A deals run rather dry. And what thin pickings there are have to be fiercely fought for with rivals like Canaccord and Cenkos in what is a crowded shallow end of the pool of London stockbrokers and investment banks.
A profit warning in December revealed Panmure expected a loss after tax for the current financial year from normal operations of around £4m to £4.5m. Since then, markets have tailed off even more and some rivals have already begun the bloodletting. Panmure's coffers are down to £8m, meaning it might have to again shake the tin at investors, led by Qatari 43% shareholder QInvest. In the last 12 months, the share price has tanked from 134p to under 54p, though this might tempt the Qatari owners may be tempted to take up one of the merger or takeover offers it sometimes receives.


UK housebuilding stocks were a 'sell' for Questor in the Sunday Telegraph. Reading the runes, one might view the UK housing sector bubble is close to bursting. House prices are levelling off, the London market is cooling due to various factors affecting overseas buyers, the imminent increase in tax and stamp duties on buy-to-let property is expected to rock the market around the country.

As for housebuilders, companies like Redrow's profits are being artificially inflated by government policy pumping up high house prices. While it and peers like Persimmon have pledged mega cash returns for investors, this is not likely to last for long in what is a cyclical industry. Berkeley, which is centred almost entirely on London, looks the most in danger for when the capital's bubble bursts, and others are also far from impervious.

Fastforward Innovations, the AIM-listed investor in emerging technology companies, looks a good punt for very brave investors, said Midas in the Mail on Sunday. The company offers adventurous small private investors a means of speculating on the potential 'tomorrow's world' technology, which has mostly been the preserve of Silicon Valley venture capital funds. Fastforward, which changed its name from Kuala after investment guru Jim Mellon joined as chairman last year, is a tiny company but has some big names on board, with Mellon joined by Canadian entrepreneur Lorne Abony as CEO and some other heavyweight private investors.

Thus far, Fastforward has invested in five companies, including Satoshi Pay, a company focused on 'nano payments' using Bitcoin to enable online publishers to charge for small items such as individual articles or videos. Elsewhere there is Vemo, whose technology aims to help students pay off their debt. The Diabetic Boot Company has developed products to help heal foot ulcers, a common problem of diabetics. Capitalised at just over £15m and with £8m cash freshly raised, this requires a leap of faith from investors who will need to believe in the leadership team and sit and wait possibly many years for their investments to bear fruit.

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