Over the weekend I reread the REA figures for the six months ended 30th June 2020. Naturally they show a loss and, understandably, many a casual reader expects the same difficulty in the current half. This is nonsense. Indeed I reckon REA, save for political risk (Indonesia – this should be OK), is now a virtually risk free investment since the price of palm oil, c. $750 a ton, will tend to stay where it is or go higher. The new higher ruling price – by, say, $200 a ton, if applied to the production/sales expected (some sales – I have adjusted for these – are of bought in fresh fruit bunches and therefore do not yield the same homegrown profit) will yield an improvement of $60m. This is quite sufficient to enable all debts to be readily met and, believe it or not, capital liabilities to be bought in in the market. This means that the ordinaries (RE.) at 60p and the prefs (RE.B) at under 100p are a screaming buy. My target price for the ordinaries is at least 200p with the possibility of a takeover bid being chucked in for free. They currently trade at a tiny fraction of tangible net asset value.
A consumer and citizen writes (1): Corals undertook about two weeks ago to pay me my £1,200. So far they have failed. Anybody who does business with Corals online is clearly demented. The founder of Coral, Joe Coral, always used to advertise “Never a Quarrel, bet with Coral”. He must be turning in his grave.
From the point of view of the punter it follows that GVC itself should be queried.
A consumer and citizen writes (2): Last week I undertook to remit £10,000 to my creditor in Australia. I asked my bank, Halifax plc, to attend to this matter through my instructing them in details over the telephone. After fifteen minutes it transpired that the maximum that I could pay in one sum was £5,000. So the bank clerk advised me to pay online.
The following day (speed could not be attained by any other route) I attended to matters online and clicked on an exchange rate of £1 = AUD$1.7. I was in a hurry and just took a chance that that was the rate that should apply. I despatched the money. I then immediately checked the rate on a spreadbet website and saw that the true rate was $1.76+. I have complained to Halifax plc and will keep readers informed.
However, the main point is that to get round dealing with the clearing banks one has to ship the money over to an unregulated business and interpose an expensive concern who will give a much keener rate. This is mad and maddening. Were one to buy, say, a gilt, one would pay market and, on top, brokerage. Halifax are merely diddling me and millions of others every year. As indeed are all the clearing banks in the UK. This must stop through, if necessary, changes in the law.