Evil Knievil: Textual analysis in action

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Evil Knievil: Textual analysis in action
Master Investor Magazine

Master Investor Magazine Issue 57

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Addendum time: I omitted to stress on Christmas Eve that Caribbean (LON:CIHL) is in an interesting position in that featuring on its 30th September 2019 balance sheet is a large amount due to CIHL by the Government of Belize (GOB).

Imagine that you are the auditor of CIHL and ask to provide against debt due by the host government. This would surely meet a pronounced raspberry. But the fact that there is no provision does not necessarily mean that the debt is okay in the eyes of the directors. That noted, I cannot believe that GOB can benefit by stealing money from CIHL. Therefore, I think it will not.

There is a further point for those of you sitting on Midway Investments, which longer term readers will recall being separated out of CIHL. GOB cannot borrow on international markets until this debt is settled. I think it will. But the wait could be long.

*****

Christmas morning breakfast table started with the usual pleasantries and then turned to preparations for lunch. Here my wife and her sister seemed perfectly content to advise that the oven would be “pre-heated” before the whatever was put in. ‘Pre-heat’ means to me leaving the oven cold and it is therefore an otiose advice. Surely, the recipe need merely declare that the oven should be warmed (to 200 degrees or whatever) before the whatever gets put in.

That’s the trouble with textual analysis: it can lead one to much pointless debate.

*****

St Peter Port Capital (LON:SPPC) sits at 6p or one third of net asset value of 18p, almost entirely accounted for by investments at the directors’ valuation of c. £11m. I do not know what to make of this, but it is notable that annual overheads seem to be running at £400,000 and may be more. It’s a lot of money to spend on so tiny a portfolio where SPPC is waiting for some kind gentleman to come along and relieve SPPC of a disappointing investment. Still, a lot of bimbling around can occur before the £11m halves.

As it happens on 15th January 2020 there is an EGM (in Guernsey) to decide whether SPPC goes into liquidation or carries on. For those receiving fees for, in practice, doing nothing I expect a continuity vote would be preferred. If the vote goes that way I shall try to get hold of the Shore brothers and ask to know the plan. They will shorely help.

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