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Half the populace lives in anxiety of male violence — this can’t go on




Half the population lives in fear of male violence — this can’t go on

arah Everard,Blessing Olusegun,Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry are all names we got to know around the latest months for heartbreaking factors. As we uncovered about these gals and their people we felt collectively bound by grief. But their stories triggered a primal fear and a flood of reminiscences about that terrible instant when we were going for walks house or for numerous an incident of sexual abuse or violence which we experienced buried and hidden deep in our sub-aware.

Quickly females all above the place were being reliving their have trauma and considering about their in close proximity to misses. “It could have been me” was the chilling imagined that ran through our heads, since it could have been. The data about the scale of violence and sexual harassment versus women and women go on to shock.

Soma Sara designed the initiative Everyone’s Invited before these scenarios came to gentle. It  saw thousands of youthful women share testimony about rape tradition in colleges, colleges and university. A report out this week by Target Focus which surveyed much more than 22,000 girls identified 99.7 for every cent experienced been subjected to male violence much more than after. But we have to move past getting dismayed at these figures. Just since the media circus has moved on, we just cannot allow the anger ebb away. We have to make our streets, educational facilities and all public and private spaces safer for women — we are additional than 50 % the inhabitants nonetheless it is accepted that we stay with the panic of male violence and as a result direct a confined lifestyle.

As element of London Increasing, I will be chairing a intriguing discussion with Sara, Nimco Ali — an activist and impartial govt adviser — and Jake Saunders, of the charity Tender which works with youthful men and women to stop sexual abuse. There’s no quick correct as this is these types of a deep-rooted cultural norm which influences all elements of society, but there was some consensus. We need the regulation to be toughened up. Adult males have to have to know they can and will get caught. Gals need to trust the law enforcement and prison justice system. Community plan demands to listen to females on security.

But the most significant problem is training and boys men and moms and dads have to be part of it. It is no fantastic just telling ladies and women of all ages to “be careful” — we know! I was recently involved in a very well-supposed but annoying dialogue exactly where it was recommended all women inside the organisation be presented a rape alarm. Occupation carried out! I prompt they almost certainly previously experienced one particular but how about the senior gentlemen have a session with all the younger men when they be a part of the place they get advised not to harass, grope or abuse gals. They haven’t appear back to me on that. We have to make this a instant of change. We have to preserve possessing these tricky but vital conversations.

There is one superior point to arise from the Downing Street flat refurb sleazathon: it has united the country in our righteous appreciate for John Lewis. All throughout these shores, there have been gasps of horror at the suggestion that Boris and Carrie identified as it a “nightmare”. How pretty dare they? John Lewis is significant time aspirational for most of us mere mortals. Like our Breakfast at Tiffany’s — practically nothing extremely undesirable could take place to you there. Neglect flags, we have observed the genuine image of patriotism. In no way knowingly undersold — as opposed to that ghastly refurb.

Ayesha Hazarika’s London Rising discussion with Soma Sara, Nimco Ali and Jake Saunders streams tomorrow, from 12.55pm to 1.30pm. Look at on-line at londonrising.standard.united kingdom


The 30 major companies doing £8 billion of share buybacks, and why they’re doing it




The 30 major companies doing £8 billion of share buybacks, and why they’re doing it

he City is calling it a Buyback Bonanza.

In the past fortnight, both Unilever and Diageo have announced they are buying back their shares to the tune of billions of pounds.

Research for the Evening Standard by share trading platform AJ Bell shows major UK companies have announced pland to buy back more than £8 billion of shares so far this year.

Of the 30 top names, some of the UK’s biggest companies feature, ranging from BP and Standard Chartered to Barclays and Balfour Beatty.

But what do buybacks mean, who does them and why?

When companies have built up a lot of spare cash from selling their products and services, they have three choices; invest it in something new that will hopefully generate more profits further down the line; keep it for a rainy day; or hand it over to shareholders.

If they choose the latter, they can either give it to the investors as cash – usually done as a dividend – or they can do it by spending the money on buying back the company’s shares from the investors.

What’s the point in that?

A share represents a slice of the value of a company. If you reduce the numbers of shares in issue, theoretically each share should be worth a bit more.

Also, it means that the big institutions get cash back for their shares when the company buys them. They can then invest that money elsewhere to get a higher return.

Generally, a company will tell a broker to go into the market and buy up a certain amount of stock, generally from the big City investors. UBS is doing the deed for Diageo.

Retail investors don’t generally have their stock bought back but they do benefit from the appreciation in the share price and a bigger share in the future dividends.

Why are so many buybacks happening now?

Through the Covid crisis, companies cautiously held onto as much cash as they could to get through the economic calamity brought on by the pandemic.

Many held back on paying dividends to investors, or reined in their spending on marketing, research and development or takeovers.

Now there seems to be an end in sight to the pandemic pain, those who can’t think of anything better to do with the cash are handing it back to shareholders.

Russ Mould at AJ Bell says super low interest rates are also driving the buyback trend: “Low interest rates mean firms are not gaining a decent return on any liquid assets,” he says.

Does the share price always rise when buybacks happen?

Not necessarily. BP has been doing them for years and it’s had little impact on the price, although you could argue that it’s impossible to say exactly what influences a share fluctuation. It’s possible BP stock would have fallen further if it had not been buying some of it back.

How should investors interpret a share buyback when considering a company?

Views are different. Most investors see them as a sign of confidence coming out of a recession, in that it shows management are less cautious about holding onto cash.

AJ Bell’s Mould says buybacks may also suggest management considers the shares are too cheap. After all, everyone in business wants to buy low and sell high. It is, then another vote of confidence in the company.

But it can also suggest management has run out of ideas about where to invest. That can be an indication either of unimaginative management or a boring, low growth industry. It could also mean management is risk averse, which could be a good thing.

E-commerce player The Hut Group this week issued new shares to expand its fast growing operations. That diluted existing shareholders but the stock rose because investors hoped the company would be worth more in the long run as a result of the deal.

Fast growing companies, particularly in tech, will often issue new shares to raise to cash because there is so much to go for in their markets to boost future profits. The slice of the pie may be thinner, but the pie itself will be larger.

Yes. Buybacks have come in for criticism because management teams have been accused of using them to juice up their bonuses.

Some bonus schemes are based on earnings per share (EPS) of the company. EPS is a measure where you take the total profit made by the company and divide it by the shares in issue. Naturally, if you reduce the number of shares that are out, hey presto, the EPS rises.

Some investors see buybacks as a form of financial engineering rather than improving the actual operations of the company and investing for solid, long term growth.

There is also evidence to suggest that, while management teams may think the shares are cheap, buybacks are generally done during bull markets when shares are actually at their highs.

More than £10 billion of share buyback plans were cancelled in 2020 when shares were probably at their cheapest. Buybacks done in, say, March last year would have been at rock bottom prices, producing a maximum EPS boost.

AJ Bell also warns that some companies are under so much pressure to give back cash to investors that they go into debt to fund the buyback. That could destabilise the business.

So, be wary of companies who buy back shares at any price, preferably setting a maximum they are prepared to pay and explaining why, and be cautious of those who do buybacks when their debts are high.

Diageo is quite highly indebted and its share price relatively fully valued, some analysts have warned. While the shares shot up more than 3% today, some of that could have been due to big profit upgrade it also announced rather than solely the buyback plan. It remains to be seen whether the buyback alone is a significant factor.

Mould says the final word should go to Warren Buffett, the so-called Sage of Omaha who, with his sidekick Charlie Munger, has been beating the markets for decades: “Charlie and I favour repurchases when two conditions are met: first, a company has ample funds to take care of the operational liquidity and needs of its business; second, its stock is selling at a material discount to the company’s intrinsic business value, conservatively calculated.”

















Arix Bioscience


Raven Property


Somero Enterprises


IP Group


Balfour Beatty




Domino’s Pizza






Trans Siberian Gold




Griffin Mining




Standard Chartered


Berkeley Group




CML Microsystems










Contour Global


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