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More names announced at Spectator Energy Forum

24 November 2014 | events

Greencoat Capital Managing Partner Richard Nourse, Joan MacNaughton, Executive Chair of the World Energy Trilemma for the World Energy Council, and Cheniere Energy Director James Ball are among a raft of new names set to speak at The Spectator Energy Conference, sponsored by Liberum, and taking place in the City of London on December 1.

Political leaders, investors, analysts and advisors involved in energy policy and business will meet to explore how to fix Britain’s energy market and understand what is happening to the geopolitics of energy. Those wishing to attend can go here to book >

The day will be chaired by BBC presenter and Spectator Chairman Andrew Neil and other confirmed speakers include Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex, National Grid’s Director of UK Regulation Mark Ripley, Lord Hutton, the chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association, Peter Lilley MP, Oxford Institute of Energy Studies’ Chris Le Fevre and Liberum Utilities Analyst Peter Atherton (pictured below). 

Peter Atherton

Other speakers include Tom Howes, Deputy Head of Unit, Energy Policy and Monitoring, European Commission, Rt Hon David Lidington MP, Minister for Europe, Rhian  Kelly, Director for Business Environment, CBI, David Clark, Chair, Russia Foundation and Stephen Tindale, Associate Fellow, Centre for European Reform.

The afternoon session sets the scene for the domestic energy debate in the UK ahead of the May 2015 general election and it will cover just how broken the energy market is here, what market reform would produce the best energy mix, supply options such as shale gas and nuclear power and the promise new technologies hold. 

The morning session is devoted to the geopolitics of energy and will discuss European energy policy, supply flow threats and the US energy revolution.

To stay ahead of who’s attending, follow us on Twitter @LiberumToday

How Lewis Carroll would’ve relished the UK energy story!

18 November 2014 | Mentions of Liberum

Liberum Utilities Analyst Peter Atherton will be speaking at The Spectator Energy Conference on December 1 in London. The event, entitled Fixing Britain's Energy Market, is chaired by Andrew Neil and features policy makers, investors and company executives. To register, click here >. Liberum is sponsoring the event.

Below is an opinion written by Peter:

"This past year I’ve published more than 40 pieces on utilities and it’s fair to say that I now know how Alice felt tumbling down the rabbit hole.

Alice04a

She was chasing a rabbit that bore a resemblance to domestic energy policy these past two decades: “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”

Alice encounters a bottle containing the country’s nuclear policy and labelled ‘DRINK ME’ (or was in ‘Hinkley’?). 

“If you drink much from a bottle marked 'poison,' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later,” she observes. 

Curiouser and curiouser. 

She finds herself playing croquet with the politicians: “I don’t think they play at all fairly…and they all quarrel so dreadfully one can’t hear oneself speak” Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed. 

What lessons had those players learned, she wondered: 'Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; 'and then the different branches of Arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.' 

So much for them. Now the consumers were on the march. We want lower emissions and cheap energy, they demanded. Alice laughed. “One can’t believe impossible things.” The Queen harrumphed..”Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” 

We reach Chapter 11: Who stole the profits? Who indeed. The King sits in judgment of the utility bosses: “Give your evidence. And don’t be nervous or I’ll have you executed on the spot.” Alice knew how they felt. “I can't go back to yesterday,” she said, “because I was a different person then.”

Finally, dressed not in her white apron but a twin-set and pearls and carrying the minister’s briefing notes in a natty Burberry folder, Alice came to a fork in the road. 

'Which road do I take?' she asked. 'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat.
'I don't know,' Alice answered.

'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.”

© Liberum Capital Limited, 2013

Ian Whittaker named City AM Analyst of The Year

14 November 2014 | Mentions of Liberum

Liberum Media Analyst Ian Whittaker won CityAM’s Analyst of the Year Award for 2014 Thursday night, with his high-profile analysis around companies such as ITV, Pearson and Vivendi reaping plaudits from the judges.

Ian Whittaker

"Ian has done brilliantly, really raised his own profile and that of the firm," the judging panel said.

Ian was one of two Liberum analysts on a shortlist of five, the second consecutive year that he made the cut.

Liberum Utilities Analyst Peter Atherton was on a shortlist of analysts that CityAM said "all stand out for their impressive foresight in their respective sectors and their revered reputations in the industry." They are "truly at the top of their game," it added.

You can follow Ian and Peter on Twitter at @LiberumIanW and @LiberumAtherton, respectively.

Ian’s award caps the most successful year in Liberum’s history and follows its best results in the 2014 Thomson Reuters Extel Survey, the annual analyst surveys which rank broker and independent research based on the responses from more than 16,000 fund managers and institutional investors. It rose to second place in the key category: Leading Pan European brokerage firm - UK Small & Mid Caps. In 2013, Liberum ranked fifth.

About Liberum

Liberum is expanding its equities research coverage into Continental European large cap companies and recently started analysis of Nestle, Reckitt Benckiser, RWE, E.ON, JC Decaux and Stroer and others, with more to come in the weeks ahead.

We trade in more than 900 stocks in 15 European markets and access 24 markets with our low-touch electronic services. We are a pan-European investment bank founded in 2007 providing research, sales, trading and corporate advice to European and North American institutional investors and companies. We cover 334 stocks in 18 sectors with 42 analysts and are owned by our 172 staff. The bank has been involved in 25 IPOs and raised £1.7 billion for clients in the year to October 2014.

Follow or Contact Liberum

Twitter: @LiberumToday

LinkedIn: Liberum 

Adam Smallman, Head of Content: adam.smallman@liberum.com +44 (0)20 3100 2177

Press Enquiries: Redleaf Polhill

Emma Kane 
George Parrett
Karl Wiseman 

+44 (0)20 7382 4747
liberum@redleafpr.com

Trading: Liberum launches LibBlock using Turquoise Block Discovery™

13 November 2014 | Mentions of Liberum

Liberum is to meet strong client demand for better liquidity in the trading of large blocks using the new Turquoise Block Discovery™ service, one of the first brokers to be able to offer it.

The development of LibBlock, Liberum's proprietary routing tool, opens up a new destination for large-block trades that meets buy-side demand for priority by size, which can boost fill rates for larger orders. Minimum execution sizes can also be defined, contributing to lowering the end-to-end cost of trading.

Liberum, a seven-year-old independent London investment bank, is one of the first brokers to be able to offer the service.

“Regulatory changes are beginning to meaningfully impact the electronic trading landscape, and Turquoise Block Discovery™ is a smart mechanism to meet demand for block trades at mainstream destinations,” Liberum’s Head of Trading, Dominic Lowres, said.

“We’ve seen remarkably strong support from our clients for what this service can potentially offer,” Lowres (pictured below) added.

Dominiclowres

“Turquoise is delighted Liberum is adding Turquoise Block Discovery™ to enhance service to customers that know Liberum for its strength in UK Small and Mid Cap securities with plans to grow in European names and sectors. Turquoise Block Discovery™ is an innovation responding to investor demand for large-in-scale trading and MiFID II.” said Robert Barnes, Chief Executive Officer of Turquoise.

Societe Generale provides access to Turquoise Block Discovery™, extending Liberum’s partnership with the bank and its portfolio of electronic trading tools.

LibBlock is available to clients as a third route to dark liquidity. This is in addition to LibDX1 and LibMid which means that the full optimized suite of dark venue access across all trade sizes is available in one place with one set of proprietary tools.

Turquoise Block Discovery™ aims to increase probability of anonymous matching in larger sized orders within Turquoise Uncross™, the periodic random uncrossing mechanism within the Turquoise Midpoint Dark Book. Turquoise Block Discovery™ identifies potential matches from block indications and firm resting orders in Turquoise Uncross™, where members have opted in to use the service. If a potential match is found, the owner of the original indication has 0.5 seconds to send a firm qualifying block order to Turquoise Uncross™, thereby maximising available liquidity for customers of both services. 

About Liberum

Liberum, voted this year as the number two Small & Mid Cap Brokerage in the Thomson Reuters Extel survey of institutional investors, is expanding into Continental European large cap companies and recently began coverage of companies such as RWE, E.ON, JC Decaux and Stroer, with more to come in the coming weeks.

We trade in more than 900 stocks in 15 European markets and access 24 markets with our low-touch electronic services. We are a pan-European investment bank founded in 2007 providing research, sales, trading and corporate advice to European and North American institutional investors and companies. We cover 334 stocks in 18 sectors with 42 analysts and are owned by our 172 staff. The bank has been involved in 25 IPOs and raised £1.7 billion for clients in the year to October 2014.

About Turquoise

Turquoise is the pan-European equities multi¬lateral trading facility majority owned by London Stock Exchange Group in partnership with the user community. Turquoise provides members with a single connection to trade shares, deposi¬tory receipts and exchange-traded funds of 18 European countries with an efficient trading and interoperable post-trade model that delivers economies of scale. Mem¬bers include banks, brokers, specialist trading firms and retail intermediaries.

Review the trading service description by Turquoise >>

Contact

Dominic Lowres, Head of Trading, Liberum +44 (0)20 3100 2103 dominic.lowres@liberum.com

Michael Wackar, Electronic Trading Products, Liberum, +44 (0) 20 3100 2104 michael.wackar@liberum.com

Liberum's Atherton: UK energy debate opens up

16 October 2014 | Mentions of Liberum

This comment is published by Liberum Utilities Analyst Peter Atherton (pictured below), shortlisted for City AM's Analyst of the Year 2014. 

Email Peter here >>

Follow him here >>

Peter Atherton

In a nutshell

Speech by Former Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson MP, indicates the current political consensus on energy policy maybe be challenged.

Public and political debate is only likely to grow as inherent contradictions and unforeseen consequences of current policy become more apparent.

Current EU/UK energy policy is deeply flawed and utility companies and public market investors will be wary of committing further capital to support and deliver it. 

Last night the former Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson MP, delivered the Annual Lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The speech has generated considerable press coverage. The full text can be seen here >>

In his speech Mr Paterson challenges the direction and basis of UK / EU energy policy. He states that current energy policy is failing to deliver the key goal of emission reduction whilst proving to be both un-affordable and a significant threat to security of supply. Mr Paterson recommended a change of course with a return to a more market based energy policy that would encourage technological innovation that in turn would reduce carbon emissions in a more affordable manner.

Gas Diesel Food SIGN 500X500px

In practical terms Mr Paterson calls for the suspension / abolition of the Climate Change Act 2008 which provides the legal framework for current energy policy and puts into UK law various climate change targets, most notably the 2050 target to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% versus 1990. In order to secure affordable energy whilst reducing emissions Mr Paterson recommended that the UK focus R&D and investment in four areas; local shale gas, modular small scale nuclear, demand side management, and local combined heat and power. 

Is the speech important for the Capital Markets?

The speech is the first time to our knowledge that a senior Conservative politician (recently in government) has called for a fundamental change of course on energy policy and explicitly for the abolition of the Climate Change Act. As the 2013 Energy Act is in effect an instrument to implement the Climate Change Act then the abolition of the latter would naturally lead to the abolition / revision of the former.

Wind Turbines

Mr Paterson's speech is an indication that the monolithic political consensus in favour of the UK's climate change driven energy policy is fraying somewhat. We are now seeing some recognition from politicians that current policy is struggling (to say the least) to satisfy the conflicting goals of reduced emissions, security of supply and affordability. For the public capital markets perhaps the only surprise is that it has taken so long for the political debate to begin.

However, Mr Paterson's speech is so far just an isolated event. As yet the political support for both the Climate Change Act and the Energy Act remains strong with all three of the main parties in favour.

The coming general election

Energy policy is likely to be an important issue in the forthcoming general election. It is likely in our view that all three main political parties will maintain their support for the current policy direction. Indeed, the Labour Party has stated that it intends to legislate, should it form the next government, to impose a 50g CO2 per KWh maximum carbon intensity for the power generation industry (compared to c.500g now) by 2030. Such a policy would re-enforce the existing targets.

The Liberal Democrats have of course held the energy brief in the current coalition government so are highly unlikely to signal a change of course. The Conservative party voted overwhelmingly in favour of both the Climate Change Act and the Energy Act and whilst Mr Paterson's speech indicates some growing dissent from within the party the chance of a radical shift in policy direction appear slim for now. 

The Conservatives have indicated that, should they win a majority, that support for on-shore wind would be curtailed but have not suggested that they would move away from either the 2020 renewable target or the 2030 emission reduction target. However the rise of UKIP, who propose to abolish 'green levies' may force the Conservatives to a more sceptical stance on current policy, especially support for renewables. 

Electricity Pylon

The Liberum View

Mr Paterson's speech is worth noting by the capital markets as it indicates that the current political consensus on energy policy maybe be challenged going forward. In our view the public and political debate is only likely to grow as the inherent contradictions and unforeseen negative consequences of the current policy become more apparent as time goes on. We have long argued that current EU / UK energy policy is deeply flawed and that utility companies and public market investors should be wary of committing further capital to support and deliver it. Advice which has been increasingly accepted in recent times. After all, an energy policy that has the Hinkley Point C contract and off-shore wind as its two flagship achievements must eventually collapse under the weight of its own idiocy. 

Click on the video below to hear Peter talk about energy policy in the run-up to the UK general election in May 2012 (shot before the Scottish referendum, which he mentions).

 Atherton Video

Follow or Contact Liberum

Twitter: @LiberumToday

LinkedIn: Liberum 

Press Enquiries: Redleaf Polhill

Emma Kane 
George Parrett
Karl Wiseman 

+44 (0)20 7382 4747
liberum@redleafpr.com

Why households’ repair, maintenance and improvement outlook isn't grim (8-pg PowerPoint)

10 October 2014 | Mentions of Liberum

Headline data for UK mortgage approvals that suggest a softening of the households’ repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) cycle is misleading and a closer inspection shows a far healthier position, Liberum Building Materials and Housebuilders Analyst Charlie Campbell (pictured below) says.

Charliecampbell

In an eight-page PowerPoint, Charlie puts into context stock market anxiety about residential RMI, flagging that mortgage approvals have been ahead in six of the eight months in 2014 to date and are up 15% overall.

RMI

Activity in July 2014 was a post-crisis high and “we are also encouraged by the recent Credit Conditions Survey which showed banks expecting to increase mortgage supply in the fourth quarter, which may lead to lower mortgage rates,” Charlie said.

Good mortgage supply should continue to fuel rising transactions, the main driver of RMI, which were up 15% in 2013 and 20% in 2014 to date, he adds.

Charlie has covered the sector for 17 years.

For Charlie’s analysis of RMI drivers and the outlook, download his Powerpoint here >>

Follow or Contact Liberum

Twitter: @LiberumToday

LinkedIn: Liberum 

Press Enquiries: Redleaf Polhill

Emma Kane 
George Parrett
Karl Wiseman 

+44 (0)20 7382 4747
liberum@redleafpr.com