Lincoln Drill Hall

Monday, 20 October 2008

Is the equity a thing of the past?

Jill Treanor's report in The Guardian of 20 October 2008 highlighted the concerns of small shareholders with the prospect of the part nationalised bank ceasing to pay dividends until the state investment is repaid. The point made is that such shareholders invest for a steady income and not for a fast buck. This surely is the crux of the matter: there is a mismatch, investors are looking for steady income, companies are in need of risk capital.
The notion of risk capital was so vividly highlighted in the events of the week leading up to the rescue package. Share capital in a balance sheet is eroded in accounting terms when losses are recorded. Far more vividly the collapse of s hare price has now accounting significance but massive implications should the business in question need to go to the market to replenish its capital base. This genre of investment is hardly appropriate for widows and orphans and by that same token pension schemes. Are we moving to a position where there is a resurgance of the preference share?

No comments: