• Investing

    MIDAS SHARE TIPS UPDATE: Hold on until M&S fortunes revive (although they’ve been predicting that since 2001)

    Chill wind: Summer clothing sales were hit by the cold springMarks & Spencer must be the longest-running turnaround story in retail history.As far back as 2001 I remember chatting to Luc Vandevelde – the then chairman, known within the business as Cool Hand Luc – about his plans to revive M&S.Soon after him came the equally suave Stuart Rose who, to his credit, achieved what was then regarded as a fabled £1 billion profit in 2008 – a full decade after the company last achieved this.Unfortunately, after that came the financial crisis, followed by Marc Bolland. Things have never ...

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  • Investing

    SHARE PUNT OF THE WEEK: Gaming software firm Gan stands to benefit from end of US ban on sports betting

    WHO IS IT? AIM-listed Gan provides gaming software which can be used online through desktops and apps. Customers include Paddy Power Betfair and a number of US casinos.WHAT’S THE LATEST? UK gaming companies suffered a setback this week as the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting machines was slashed from £100 to £2.But in the US, gaming and sports betting is a growing industry, and this week the US Supreme Court ended a 26-year ban on betting on professional and college sports. Gan, which provides companies with the tools to provide betting services, could be a major beneficiary of this decision.WHO ...

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  • Investing

    INVESTMENT EXTRA: A decade on from the financial crisis, can RBS find favour with investors again?

    More than a decade on from the financial crisis and Royal Bank of Scotland may finally be a worthwhile investment proposition again.RBS was rescued by the Government in 2008 after the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers created a wave of turmoil which brought other institutions to the brink.Earlier that year, RBS had reported its first loss in 40 years as toxic mortgages and a number of acquisitions started to go badly wrong. Slump: In March 2007 shares were as much as £59 each – they closed yesterday at 289.9pThe bailout was to the tune of £45billion, and today ...

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  • Investing

    SMALL CAP MOVERS: Webis soars 400% on US sports betting ban lift; The People's Operator struggles for new subscribers

    Traders ploughed into totalisator-style betting group Webis Holdings this week after the US Supreme Court paved the way for states to legalise sports betting.A federal ban on sports wagering was lifted by the Supreme Court on Monday, opening up what could be one of, if not the, largest betting market in the world.Webis said the decision won’t have an immediate impact as states have to get their legislation in place first but it will almost certainly boost the group’s US operations over the longer-term. Sure bet: Traders ploughed into totalisator-style betting group Webis Holdings this week after the US Supreme ...

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  • Investing

    Bitcoin ranked 13th by Chinese government in report that rates ETHEREUM as the leading cryptocurrency

    The Chinese government has produced the first ratings table ranking cryptocurrencies, despite also being the first government in the world to ban its people from trading in them.A government research unit, called the China Center for Information Industry Development, has ranked 28 cryptocurrencies and the blockchains behind them.In a blow for bitcoin enthusiasts, it was ethereum that took the Chinese government's research group's top spot, based on the technology involved, application, and technological innovation. At the top: In a blow for bitcoin enthusiasts, it was ethereum that took the Chinese government's research group's top spotEthereum is currently trading up 1.51 per cent ...

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  • Investing

    New Legal & General Future World Gender in Leadership fund - will pump cash into firms which employ more women

    The L&G Future World Gender in Leadership fund will pump extra cash into firms which employ more womenSavers are being encouraged to back gender diversity through a new fund from Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM).The L&G Future World Gender In Leadership fund – or Girl for short – will pump extra cash into firms which employ more women. It is the first investment offer of its kind in Britain, and mirrors State Street’s She fund in the US.LGIM looked at how many women were on companies’ boards, executive teams, management and workforce in devising its rankings.Legal & General is ...

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  • Investing

    Investment trusts are 150 years old and still going strong, but where do savers' favourites invest? We dig into the top five

    Two world wars, the atom bomb and a plethora of economic booms and busts later, and investment trusts - launched 150 years ago - are still going strong.Foreign & Colonial was the first to launch in 1868, with the aim of giving those on modest incomes access to the stock market at a time when investing was the exclusive preserve of the wealthy.It did this by pooling investors' cash together to give them exposure to investments they wouldn't otherwise have had access to. Bright idea: Investment trusts predate the invention of Edison's light bulbThere are now nearly four hundred investment trusts ...

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  • Investing

    SMALL CAP SHARE IDEAS: Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury still doing magic as it goes digital

    Bloomsbury Publishing is so closely associated with Harry Potter, it’s hard sometimes to look beyond the boy wizard.A recent bullish trading update though showed that some of the seeds planted using the cash from the Potter phenomenon are starting to bear fruit.Moves into higher-margin professional and academic publishing, where the focus is business-to-business digital publishing, and a partnership with Spotify have been recent highlights. Turning point: That first Harry Potter book and the subsequent six instalments went on to sell the best part of half a billion copiesSpotify is to make Bloomsbury’s series of music business-focused books - 331/3 -available on ...

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  • Investing

    JPMorgan American: Staying on track, the £1bn trust built on the rail roads of America

    Though it is not the oldest investment trust – an honour bestowed upon 150-year-old Foreign & Colonial – JPMorgan American has been making money for shareholders since 1881. Yet it has only done so through being willing to adapt and change with the times.Some 137 years ago, the trust was launched with a mission to raise finance to build rail roads across the US. Known then as the Alabama, New Orleans, Texas and Pacific Junction Railways Company, it became The Sterling Trust at the end of the First World War with a remit to invest outside of the States. It was in ...

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  • Investing

    The hedge fund guru behind Elliot Advisors, one of the world’s most tenacious activist investors

    Paul Singer and his son Gordon are not household names but mere mention of them is enough to send shockwaves through boardrooms.Their £25 billion hedge fund Elliott Advisors is one of the world’s most tenacious activist investors.It targets bumbling boards and undervalued firms and is cutting a swathe through British companies, where it has built up stakes worth £2 billion this year alone – on top of billions invested in UK firms it had previously targeted. Paul Singer and his son Gordon are not household names but mere mention of them is enough to send shockwaves through boardroomsIn the past ...

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  • Investing

    MIDAS SHARE TIPS UPDATE: Investors are beaming as Satellite Solutions Worldwide's shares double in price

    For most of us, speedy access to the internet is a given. We happily stream films, send and receive videos, phone relatives via Skype and make super-fast online purchases.But 1.4 million households in the UK suffer from broadband speeds of less than ten megabits per second, including 250,000 homes on less than 2Mbps.The pattern is repeated across Europe, where 20 million homes are on speeds of less than 2Mbps, making even routine online browsing difficult. Flying high: Andrew Walwyn's firm helps with slow internet accessSatellite Solutions Worldwide (SSW) aims to fix the issue, providing high-speed internet access for remote, rural communities ...

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  • Investing

    MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Wake up and smell the opportunity with Brazil-based Harvest Minerals

    Brazil is one of the world’s largest exporters of agricultural products, especially coffee, sugar and soybeans. Over the next five years, almost half of all new agricultural land is expected to be in Brazil, making it one of the fastest-growing farming economies on the planet.Most of Brazil’s crops need extra nourishment to flourish. But today, about two thirds of the country’s fertiliser is imported, which is expensive and, at times, unwieldy. The government is keen to change this, with a stated aim of being self-sufficient in fertilisers by 2020. Over the next five years, almost half of all new agricultural land is ...

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  • Investing

    As the price of petrol soars, is oil a slick investment? Iran crisis and Venezuela collapse push crude to a four-year high

    The price of oil is soaring and experts say it could be the right time for investors to take another look at the black stuff.The threat of US sanctions against oil-rich Iran and a collapse in production in Venezuela – which has the world’s largest reserves – has pushed Brent crude up to a four-year high of $77 a barrel.It marks a remarkable turnaround, shooting up from just below $30 a barrel two years ago.Global supply is expected to fall if the US presses ahead with trade sanctions on Iran, which experts say will push up the price even further.  ...

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  • Investing

    SHARE PUNT OF THE WEEK: XP Power develops and builds power supply and converters for the electronics industry

    WHAT IS IT? XP Power is a developer and manufacturer of power supply and converters for the electronics industry.The small-cap firm has design hubs in Asia, Europe and North America and has revenues in excess of £166million.WHAT’S THE LATEST? This week it bought Glassman for £31.8million, a New Jersey-based maker of high voltage power conversion products for the industrial and tech sectors.Glassman reported sales of £12.4million in the year to December 31 and banked a profit of £2million. XP Power expects the deal to give it an earnings boost when it reports its next full-year results. WHO BACKS IT? Standard Life ...

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  • Investing

    SUNDAY NEWSPAPER SHARE TIPS: Arix, Grainger, WH Smith and Scottish Mortgage investment trust

    Every weekend, This is Money rounds up the Sunday newspaper share tips. This week, Joanne Hart and her Midas column takes a look at biotech investment firm Arix and updates on property firm Grainger.Meanwhile, the Sunday Telegraph looks at Scottish Mortgage investment trust and the Sunday Times runs the rule over high street retailer WH Smith. WH Smith: The Sunday Telegraph takes a look at the high street retailerFINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY The world of drugs is changing fast. Once, big, international pharmaceutical companies were responsible for virtually every new product that came to market.Today however, around two-thirds of all drugs approved ...

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Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999