Evil Knievil: Venetian corruption consequences

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Evil Knievil: Venetian corruption consequences
Master Investor Magazine

Master Investor Magazine 54

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As it happens, a distant relative of mine, Sir Ashley Clarke, who had been British ambassador to Rome perhaps sixty years ago established Venice In Peril. He knew that action had to be taken to save this fabulously beautiful city.

In 2011 the Mose project got under way to establish undersea tidally determined barriers to a tidal surge in defence of the Venice lagoon. It has cost c. 5bn euros but has not quite been finished for want of 200m euros since the managers of the project have run out of money. You might think that the Italian government would immediately make up the difference since this vital defence must be established right now. However, I am told that about 60 managers on the project have been arrested as part of a crackdown on corruption arising from spending the 5bn euros. Pending which outcome and for want of 200m euros Venice continues to be destroyed.

This is really shocking.


This weekend’s Spectator returns to the matter of Israel’s kibbutz movement. It has failed since there was never any evidence to support the view that human nature would back it up. (Even children were taken from their parents and brought up communally.) Apparently, Jon Lansman of Momentum was so brought up. He is the central architect of the madness that is Corbyn’s Labour Party. Truly we have been warned as to the ideological background of these disastrous and treacherous people.


Six Hundred Group (LON:SIXH) have this morning updated the market on the state of play and show the balance sheet as at 30th September 2019. It shows a lot of intangibles – which I do not like. However, the business is clearly going well, and the shares remain a strong buy at under 20p. There is an interim dividend of 0.25p.

Be it noted that the dividend is expressed in sterling whereas, curiously, the figures in the results statement and balance sheet are all in USD. This is muddling and is not justified by the US centrality of sales. (As it happens, exactly the same lack of clarity attends the Beximco Pharma (LON:BXP) figures which are expressed in Bangladeshi taka. This is of course the local currency but, given that the shareholders who study the statement are sterling-based, it would be helpful to have sterling figures adjacent to the taka figures.)

Perhaps Nomads could take the trouble to help.

Comments (1)

  • philip baker says:

    Even though the palm oil price is at a multi year high, REA have passed their preference dividend for December. They now owe two dividends, this must run to the millions owed to preference holders. So come June next year they will need to pay 3 payments to catch up. The palm oil price will need to stay high for a year. Though in practise this is a free loan from preference shareholders. So if it avoids bank borrowing the company does gain, in terms of near term cash flow.

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