A useful reminder of what tax rises do is provided by the chart below which shows Japan’s retail sales dropping 14.4% following the increase in VAT from 8% to 10% in October.


  • Appreciate Group and CleverGift launch the UK’s first multi-brand gift card you can add to a mobile wallet.  This card “completely re-imagines” how giftcards should work. The company says it is a “game changer”.  This could be a large market and the company may do very well.  But I have no personal empathy for the product.
  • Just Group announced on Friday it has a new CFO starting on 1 January who was previously Group CFO of LV=
  • RBG Ian Rosenblatt pledged his 21.2% shareholding as collateral against a £6m personal bank loan to fund personal tax liabilities. The NOMAD waived the IPO lock-in for this pledge.
  • Amigo Holdings Chairman Stephen Wilcke sold 15% of his shareholding which was 1.8m shares at 63.6p last week ahead of a personal tax liability due in 2020. The Chief Analytics officer also sold c.704k shares at c.65.4p ahead of a personal tax liability. The PER is 3.8X and yield 14.8%.
  • This Week Results due from Ramsden’s, Impax Asset Management and PCF Bank, as well as a trading update from IG Group. All of those should be good. Ramsden’s share price has come back almost 10% in sympathy with H&T’s FCA review.

Augmentum Fintech – Portfolio Commentary  

Share Price 106p

Mkt Cap £124m

Conflict Disclosure: No Holding

  • News The reason for the delay in Augmentum’s results last week was apparent from the lead article in The Sunday Times at the week end. Zopa is pursuing a £130m fund raise from Silverstripe, the UK arm of US private equity IAG is expected to be completed at a big discount to its valuation 12 months ago. Zopa, which accounts for in excess of 20% of Augmentum’s NAV.
  • Estimates In 2018 Zopa lost £18.3m, up from £5.5m in 2017.
  • Valuation NAV at March 2019 was 109.6p since when the company has raised another £25.8m at 112p/share. The shares trade at a modest discount to NAV
  • Conclusion I find myself wondering if the reason that company’s have been staying private for longer in the last 10 years is that private valuations are higher. It may be that the unicorns are now being de horned or it may be that P2P is not a good space. Neither are good.