You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 30, 2008.

I’ve not a lot to say about the Directors of Barclays (BARC, 335p) buying in last weeks placement at 282p, except to say that

1. I can imagine that there must have been a lot of internal pressure on the directors of Barclays to subscribe for shares in the placement, and given that pressure, an increase in their personal holdings of Barclays shares of between 15% and 23% doesn’t seem to me particularly, how shall I say this, convincing.

2. I looked back through recent directors trades, and see in particular that Bob Diamond in March 2008, having exercised and been delivered shares in various incentive and award schemes, sold 974,000 shares at prices of 454p (4/3) and 461p (12/3) to ‘satisfy withholding liabilities’ *. I find it an intriguing coincidence then that he buys [back] almost the same amount, 1,025,000 shares at 282p last week.

* ‘satisfy withholding liabilities’ = pay tax. This is normal routine behaviour when share options are exercised or released to directors.

On the 29th of July we saw the Chairman of Marks and Spencer David Michels (MKS, 257p) add to his holding by buying 47500 shares at 248.75p.

Is this significant ? NO.

1. This is a relatively small amount of money (£118,000)

2. No other directors are buying shares at the moment. The last significant purchase was in January by Stuart Rose, who invested £1m at 411p.

I noted on Match 31st that I had seen significant buying by the CEO, CFO and Chairman of Misys (MSY, 172p). (link to note of 31/3 here). Misys are up more than 35% relative to the FTSE250 index since March 31st, fuelled recently by some outstanding results and a positive outlook (July 24th comment by Reuters here).

Yesterday we saw Dominic Cadbury, the Chairman of Misys, reinforcing his beliefs by investing £617,000, a sizable amount in anybodys money. He bought 380,000 shares at 162.5p, to more than double his holding to 655,000 shares.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see other directors follow suit shortly.

This move strongly reinforces my comments of March 31st.

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