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Parker caps Anglo’s sell-off

Shares in Anglo American have risen 84 per cent base-to-apex within the past 12 months, a reflection of improved commodity pricing combined with cumulative rationalisation measures.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the miner’s chairman, Sir John Parker, had decided to call it a day after an eight-year tenure in which he oversaw the sale of numerous assets deemed surplus to requirements, the latest of which — an 88.2 per cent interest in the Drayton thermal coal mine in New South Wales — was announced this month.

Not all of the sales met with universal shareholder approval, but no one pretends that it has been plain sailing for Sir John since he came on board, particularly given the weakness in underlying markets through 2014-16.

But prices for speciality metals and bulks, most notably iron ore, strengthened considerably through last year. The consequent rise in cash flows, along with the asset sales, enabled the embattled commodities giant to reduce net debt as a proportion of shareholder funds by around two-fifths since the end of 2015. So he leaves the group, if not in rude health, then certainly in better trim than he probably might have thought possible 18 months ago.

Shares in London Stock Exchange rocketed following the announcement of its proposed merger with Deutsche Börse in February last year. Despite the deal finally falling through this April on competition grounds, very little of these gains have fallen out of the share price. Now chief executive Xavier Rolet has sold shares in the group worth £1.8m.

Even without completing the deal, London Stock Exchange looks in pretty good shape. Income from continuing operations was up almost a fifth during the first four months of the year at £459m; information and post-trade services have led the way in terms of revenue growth.

Global clearing business LCH increased revenue by almost a third during this period, thanks to growth in over-the-counter clearing of derivatives contracts through its SwapClear platform. Meanwhile, demand has remained high for information services, with sales up 9 per cent on a like-for-like basis during the first four months of the year. This is largely due to the popularity of FTSE Russell indices.

Directors’ Deals, May 8 2017
CompanyDirectorDateNo of sharesPrice (p)Value (£)Holding (shares)
BUY
Abcam Gavin Wood (cfo)2/5/175,700889.7550,71611,975
Aberdeen Latin American Income Fund Martin Adams2/5/1724,4507317,84974,000
Alliance Trust Anthony Brooke2/5/1710,000685.7568,57513,000
Alliance Trust Karl Sternberg2/5/173,00068720,6106,092
Barclays Ian Cheshire2/5/1750,000210105,00050,000
Blue PrismCharmaine Eggberry28/4/179,48867063,570330,000
CharacterJeremiah Healy27/4/175,00047023,50041,000
CharacterMark Dowding (cfo)27/4/178,00047037,600108,000
ConnectDavid Bauernfeind (cfo)27/4/1720,000127.425,48020,000
ConnectGary Kennedy (ch)28/4/1710,000126.412,64030,000
CrawshawJim McCarthy27/4/17190,00026.550,350190,000
Falanx*Mike Read (ch)3/5/17727,2736.87550,0001,977,273
Frontier Developments Charles Cotton27/4/1710,00033533,50084,339
Frontier Developments Charles Cotton28/4/175,00033516,75089,339
JPMorgan US Smaller Companies Christopher Galleymore2/5/1710,000258.37525,83860,000
John Laing♥Olivier Brousse (ceo)27/4/176,873289.3519,887168,929
KAZ Minerals Charles Watson28/4/171,532510.47,8195,156
LoopUpBarbara Judge (ch)27/4/1710,00015515,50033,754
Man GroupKatharine Barker3/5/1740,000153.946661,57940,000
Mobile Tornado*Avi Tooba (ceo)3/5/173,000,0005150,0003,000,000
Mobile Tornado*Jeremy Fenn (ch)3/5/173,000,0005150,00011,434,752
Mobile Tornado*Peter Wilkinson3/5/176,000,0005300,00034,146,141
Morses Club Nigel Knowles27/4/1712,000134.2516,11035,148
Oakley Capital Investments Peter Dubens28/4/17100,000152.19152,1902,048,167
Proteome Sciences♥ Martin Diggle27/4/17100,00055,00054,043,715
Proteome Sciences♥ Martin Diggle2/5/17100,00055,00054,143,715
Taylor Wimpey Angela Knight 27/4/175,000198.879,9445,000
Tesco Alison Platt3/5/1711,185177.819,88711,185
Thor Mining♥ Paul Johnson3/5/17500,0000.8794,3958,002,649
Troy Income & Growth Trust♥ David Garman3/5/1730,00079.2523,775100,000
Troy Income & Growth Trust♥ David Warnock (ch)3/5/17100,00079.279,200500,000
Troy Income & Growth Trust Roger White3/5/17200,00079.25158,500300,000
Troy Income & Growth Trust♥ Jann Brown3/5/1762,56379.549,73887,563
Unilever John Rishton27/4/172,0003965.968479,3192,000
Upland Resources♥ Bolhassan Di27/4/171,000,0001.2912,90011,096,160
Vesuvius Holly Koeppel27/4/177,500533.442140,0087,500
Westmount Energy* Dermot Corcoran3/5/171,500,000575,0004,500,000
Westmount Energy* Gerrard Walsh (ch)3/5/171,550,000577,5004,650,000
Westmount Energy* Thomas O’Gorman3/5/171,550,000577,5004,650,000
WideCells*David Bridgland (cfo)28/4/1780,000129,600332,552
WideCells*Graham Hine (ch)28/4/1740,000124,8003,238,698
WideCells*Marilyn Orcharton28/4/1715,000121,800150,952
WideCells*Lopes Gil28/4/1715,000121,8008,035,000
WideCells*João Andrade (ceo)28/4/1720,000122,4008,040,000
SELL
AB Dynamics Rob Hart (fd)3/5/171,98557511,41417,347
AB Dynamics♥ Tim Rogers (ceo)3/5/176,00057134,260392,953
Anglo American John Parker (ch)28/4/1762,6961107694,0450
Jupiter Fund Management Edward Bonham Carter27/4/17667,1534753,168,97710,006,892
London Stock ExchangeXavier Rolet (ceo)2/5/1753,50033821,809,370547,588
Mithras Investment Trust David Shearer27/4/172,891217.55816,2906,914
Mithras Investment TrustJohn Mackie 27/4/172,892217.55816,2926,912
Mithras Investment Trust Miriam Greenwood 27/4/172,805217.55816,1036,708
Taylor Wimpey Michael Hussey28/4/1750,000199.899,900100,000
* Placing/tender/open offer ♥ spouse/connected party; Source: Morningstar/Investors Chronicle

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