The Evil Diaries: We Are Governed by Wallies

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Evil discusses Phosphorus Holdco Plc senior bonds, South African kleptocrats and the Miliband-Fink tax avoidance spat…

I have bought Phosphorus Holdco Plc £205m Toggle PIK 10% 2018 at 3.8p. It comes in lots of 100,000. My reason to buy is that this is the senior bond outstanding on the liquidation of Phones4U and this debt was taken on by BC Partners on behalf of Phosphorus and immediately paid out as a £200m dividend to BC Partners. It is argued (but by no means in front of a Court yet) that this dividend was improperly paid and that BC Partners should refund it. BC Partners have got the money.

Say this action by the administrators succeeds, 100p will not necessarily be winging its way back to the bond holders since the Court might order a partial refund. Thus gamblers having a go here seem to have settled upon 20p as some sort of target price. Well, 400% uplift is attractive.

This bond is a QCB which means that there is no tax relief on losses and no tax payable upon success. It can’t go in an ISA. Interested parties can have their broker approach Guy Butler Limited.

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South Africa is in chaos: some South African MP’s have had to be manhandled out of Parliament, dressed Guantanamo-style in orange jump suits and so forth, since they protested at President Jacob Zuma’s having stolen a vast amount of money for his private purposes. The trouble is that the chief protester highlighted on BBC TV news is Julius Malema of whom little favourable can be said save that when it comes to theft he is as competititve as Zuma. He styles himself as leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters. Malema’s wish is for Freedom to steal everything and, at the moment, Zuma is in his way. It’s all part of the general South African decline.

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If it were not so pathetic, the Miliband-Fink spat over tax evasion/avoidance would be mildly comic. There is the overwhelming consequence of their ignorance of tax law, their incompetent attempts at deception in their parties’ interest and finally a refusal to define aggressive tax avoidance in practice. This latter failure is no surprise since a definition cannot be developed. We are governed by wallies.


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