Victor Hill

The Star in the East

The Star in the East

5 mins. to read

As Mr Cameron sits down to Christmas lunch at Chequers this year he will try to put aside his feelings of foreboding about the year ahead. On a personal level, I certainly hope that he enjoys a restful and happy day with his family. He has, it is said, like Napoleon, an uncanny ability to…

The Trolley Letters II

The Trolley Letters II

6 mins. to read

18 December 2015 Dear Mr Morrison Just a short note to commiserate you on your demotion from the capitalist Premier League, the FTSE-100 index, today. I note that your shares have been trading downwards since this outcome was announced, even despite rating upgrades by the so-called brokers. At the beginning of 2015 your shares (LON:MRW)…

India Online: Update

India Online: Update

4 mins. to read

At the end of October, further to a trip to India, I wrote a piece on these pages entitled India Online. There, and in my longer piece on investment opportunities in India in the November edition of the Master Investor magazine (India Faces the Future with Confidence), I argued that the potential for online commerce…

Why investors should understand the company lifecycle

Why investors should understand the company lifecycle

6 mins. to read

Looking back, one of the most useful concepts that I learned at Business School was that of the Company Lifecycle. Just as there is a Product Lifecycle so companies themselves, like all organic beings, are born, grow, mature and then decline. At last, they die – or they are taken over by other companies. True,…

Airport Wars: Indeterminate Delay

Airport Wars: Indeterminate Delay

3 mins. to read

Back in September I wrote a piece for these pages (Airport Wars: Heathrow versus Gatwick) in which I explained why a third runway at Heathrow is the best outcome for the British economy but that this decision is politically fraught. I am not going to recycle the contents of that piece here but, in a…

The Trolley Letters

The Trolley Letters

5 mins. to read

10 December 2015 Dear Mr Sainsbury On behalf of the Tonbridge WI, I would like to congratulate you on the quality of your Sainsbury’s Exceptional Mince Pies this year. Last year, the ladies opined that they contained an excess of cinnamon, and our Treasurer, Mrs Bland, who is allergic to unnecessary foreign ingredients, experienced palpitations.…

The Trouble with Calais

The Trouble with Calais

4 mins. to read

“When I am dead and opened, you will find Calais written on my heart.” – Queen Mary I This situation in Calais is not getting better – for anybody. Our truck drivers are daily running a gauntlet of missiles and human obstacles; the French police are at wit’s end; the good burghers of Calais are…

War on Terror II: The Janus-Faced Kingdom

War on Terror II: The Janus-Faced Kingdom

7 mins. to read

In 1744 in the Arabian city-state of Al-Diriyyah, a prominent Muslim cleric by the name of Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhabi came to Muhammad ibn Saud, the emir, asking for protection. This was granted and the two decided to ally themselves. Ibn Saud, from whom the current rulers of Saudi Arabia are descended, endorsed Ibn Abdel Wahhabi’s…

UK-Europe: Myth and Reality

UK-Europe: Myth and Reality

19 mins. to read

As featured in this month’s Master Investor Magazine. As I wrote on the MI website recently (Mr Cameron’s Gamble), we learnt in late October that the Prime Ministers of Finland and Estonia had no idea what Mr Cameron was talking about. This was not due to a failure to translate Mr Cameron’s speeches into all…

Government finances – the mint with the hole

Government finances – the mint with the hole

3 mins. to read

Five days before Mr Osborne gave his Autumn Statement the UK Government released its latest borrowing figures. They should have got more attention than they did. Public sector net borrowing rose by £1.1 billion in October 2015 as compared with October 2014 to £8.2 billion for the month – the highest October level since 2009.…