LONDON -- As is often the case, weekend press coverage had a bearing on Monday's trades by private investors. My eyes won't have been the only ones, for instance, to eagerly devour reports of a clash between Lloyds Banking Group
The bottom line? Lloyds, it seems, wants to pay a small 2013 dividend in early 2014, but regulators think the bank should hold the cash back to bolster its balance sheet. Down almost 2% yesterday morning, Lloyds' shares were accordingly in strong demand by the retail clients of stockbroker TD Direct Investing, comprising yesterday's single-most popular buy with the broker's clients between the market's opening and 12 noon.
Next up: Scancell Holdings
Yesterday morning, the board put out a statement via an RNS: "The board of Directors of the Company notes the rise in the Company's share price. ... The Directors are not aware of any reason that would lead to such a movement in its price."
The results for the year ended April 30, 2012 will be released Friday, so we might learn more then. In the meantime, I for one won't be buying. I like my pharmaceutical treatments -- and dividends -- delivered by FTSE 100 stalwart GlaxoSmithKline, thanks.
Last up is rail and bus operator FirstGroup
Popular with income investors, the share was the fourth-most popular buy by TD Direct Investing's retail clients, who were no doubt attracted by the 20% fall in price in just a week. Less attractive for those same income investors will be the talk of a 400 million pound rights issue to prop up FirstGroup's stretched balance sheet, which is loaded with debt.
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