Business Comment: Halifax float gives inflation a little extra help
Wednesday 28 May 1997
One possible, if charitable, explanation for this week's rush to the exit is the increasing sophistication of the British public after 15 years of shareholder capitalism. With IG Index, the spread betting specialist, forecasting a 700p close on the first day of dealings in Halifax shares, some members clearly took the view that most of the good news was already in the price. Halifax no doubt deserves a decent rating, but a premium to both the sector favourite, Lloyds TSB, and the market as a whole looks ambitious.
The less charitable answer is that for many Halifax account holders this sort of payout represents a never to be repeated opportunity to have that holiday in the sun or computer. They probably don't own any other shares and wouldn't know what to do with them anyway. For a lot of people a choice between a mysterious and risky financial asset and a fistful of cash is a no-brainer.
Whatever interpretation you put on the figures, it is probably bad news for the economy. No doubt some of the windfall gains will go, not on spending binges, but to top up PEPs or into some other form of sensible investment. Perhaps even a punt on the next demutualising society. It is a fair bet that older, wealthier and more sophisticated investors are not well represented in those who plan to cash in their chips next week. Far more likely, the sellers are young recipients of the minimum 200 share handout for whom pounds 1,400 represents a fantastic what-the-hell splurge. Part of the pounds 4bn will be lavished in the bars and restaurants of the Costa, but it is hard to imagine the rest won't do its inflationary worst at home.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...