Russell Lynch: City’s eyes will be on muddy waters

 

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“Need liquidity? Traditional banks not a good option? Have a stock portfolio? You could sell some of your holdings to raise cash.”

So says the website of Equities First Holdings, striking the tone that you see on those advertisements offering to “consolidate your debts into one easy monthly payment”. They’ll lend you cash against your stock – at a chunky discount to the price.

Let’s be clear: Mr Terry and his colleagues haven’t done anything illegal. But the painfully partial exposure of this complex sale and repurchase agreement is a self-inflicted wound it didn’t need. Quindell, whose website is filled with nonsense slogans like “Industry Transformation driven with Challenger Re-engineering”, has an opacity about it that raises suspicions. Quindell won a libel case against short-seller Gotham, but it didn’t help that they failed to turn up to the hearing.

Directors buying shares is good for the price, and the reverse is also true. But Quindell has found a way of muddying the waters – because at this point they’ve sold more than they’ve bought. The City will be watching these chaps like a hawk to see that they keep buying.

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