REGAL Petroleum and its failure to find oil in Greece is exercising City minds.
The familiar sounds of bolting horses and closing doors have been followed by howls of anguish and rage, by investors complaining and institutions jumping up and down, and by calls for a formal investigation. City Spy isn't the sort to say "told you so". Oh, all right then, "told you so". This column reported on 22 April that tests in the Kallirachi-2 field had come up dry. On 25 April, broker Evolution finished placing [pounds sterling]45 million of shares in the company. One shareholder, stung by the 60% fall in the shares following the announcement, was quoted as saying: "It doesn't lead us to question the role of Evolution. We make our own minds up." Fine, in which case, why didn't Evolution, and you, hear what City Spy was hearing?
ONE of those foaming in rage over the Regal fiasco is Terry Smith of Collins Stewart. One aspect that has been sending his testosterone level soaring is a report by Mickey Clark in this paper that Evolution shares dropped and "rival broker Collins Stewart Tullett, which also has a stake in Regal, fell-" Study of the Regal share register showed Collins Stewart Asset Management as holding 8.2%. Fair enough. But Smith issued a statement to the Stock Exchange that, contrary to our report, "no member of the Collins Stewart Tullett Plc Group nor any clients advised by Collins Stewart Ltd (or any of that company's subsidiaries) has beneficial ownership of any Regal Petroleum shares". So Collins Stewart Asset Management holds 8.2%, presumably on behalf of a client or clients, but didn't advise them to buy the shares? OK, Terry, we've got that. But a question for you: if Mickey had said Collins Stewart Asset Management in his report, would that have changed anything? …