Now that the initial shock of the Brexit vote has subsided, companies potentially affected by Britain’s anticipated break from the EU are beginning to play out the various scenarios for shareholders. You can find corporate disclosure on the topic by looking at SEC, SEDAR and UK Filings made since the June 23 referendum.
If there is one word that epitomizes the tone of such disclosure, it is “uncertainty.” While companies have a bit of a handle on the short-term impact of Brexit – most immediately and palpably, the overnight devaluation of the British Pound Sterling against the Euro and the US Dollar – things get fuzzier when it comes to the long-term horizon. The biggest questions surround what market access will look like for UK companies doing business in Europe. That risk, summarized in filings of various companies, is that the UK “could lose the benefits of global trade agreements negotiated by the European Union on behalf of its members, which may result in increased trade barriers which could make our doing business in Europe more difficult.”
With uncertainty comes anxiety. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing for all companies. Indeed, some corporations see in Brexit a business opportunity—an opportunity rooted precisely in that feeling of anxious uncertainty. For example, there is a general belief that the post-Brexit hangover will compel regulators to keep interest rates low, which could foster growth in the financial services sector. “Brexit will likely benefit us,” explains commercial lender Walker & Dunlop in its recent 10-Q, “as borrowers take advantage of low mortgage interest rates and as a ‘flight to safety’ results in an increase of global capital investments in U.S. markets, including commercial real estate, resulting in higher loan origination and investment sales activity.”
Similarly, the price of gold and other precious metals surged following the vote, with investors presumably seeking a “safe haven” from the volatility of the market. Those positioned to profit from that circumstance have been quick to pounce on the opportunity. “A continued destabilization of the Europe may occur in the wake of last night’s historic vote in the UK to leave the EU,” intoned the CEO of Lomiko Metals Inc., a British Columbia-based mining company. A grim warning, to be sure, but one with a silver lining: “There is good potential for a renewed interest in junior mining stocks seeking commodities with good demand outlooks such as gold, silver, lithium and graphite.”
Finally, Brexit may emerge as a boon for the legal services industry. That, at least, is the conclusion of Burford Capital Ltd., a UK-based litigation finance firm. Burford provides capital to businesses and law firms to allow them to pursue litigation and other legal services. Such services are likely to be in higher demand as a result of the UK’s referendum, the company explains in a recent Interim Results report:
Substantively, Brexit will give rise to significant uncertainty for businesses, and demand for legal services tends to flourish during periods of uncertainty, boosting our business collaterally.There is likely to be more litigation as a result of Brexit, and there is no catalyst for any reduction in the volume of litigation.
Once again, it is the “uncertainty” of the situation that creates the climate for business success. As the Burford report continues, “while we regret the macroeconomic disruption and upheaval that Brexit has already caused and doubtless will continue to cause, Brexit is not bad for Burford.” For companies engaged in certain types of business, Brexit is good precisely because it is bad.
The release is just in time for the annual meeting and conference of the American Association of Law Libraries, being held now in Chicago. If you’re attending AALL, please swing by the Lexis Securities Mosaic booth (#603) to say hello and to hear more about what we’ve done and where we’re headed. I’ll be personally present at the booth during much of the show.
In addition, I’ll be hosting a special Exhibitor Showcase on Sunday, July 17 at 1:30 p.m. Get a sneak peek of our soon-to-be-released enhanced search environment for SEC EDGAR filings. The new Securities Mosaic SEC Filings page features post-search filters, a library of predefined searches, expanded redline comparison tools, section searching on registration statements (S-1, S-3, F-1), instant document download, and links to associated Comment Letter correspondence. I look forward to hearing your feedback.
How will the U.K.’s “Brexit” vote – its historic decision to break from the European Union — impact business in the U.K.? There’s no better window into companies than their required disclosure in compliance with securities regulations. And while Lexis Securities Mosaic has long offered the ability to see SEC EDGAR filings made by British companies that are traded on U.S. exchanges, it hasn’t offered access to filings made with U.K. regulators for companies traded on U.K. exchanges.
We at Lexis Securities Mosaic are excited to announce the debut of our U.K. Filings search page, coming the week of July 11. We’ll offer a complete collection, updated daily, of filings available through the National Storage Mechanism of the UK Listing Authority, under the oversight of the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.
Our collection includes all filings by companies that have issued equity securities via the U.K. trading markets, notably the London Stock Exchange and Irish Stock Exchange, going back to the late 1990s. Find documents related to new listings of securities (prospectuses, listing particulars), periodic reporting and financials (annual reports, current reports, quarterly reports), ownership (including insider activities), and shareholder communication by way of annual general meetings. There are about 75,000 records in all.
Users can search by document category, document type, filer, date, and advanced text search (supporting both Boolean syntax and natural language constructions). Custom alerts, available via email or RSS, can be created based on queries. Search results can also emailed to colleagues or exported into Excel format.
The U.K. Filings search page is included as part of your current Securities Mosaic subscription, and will be found under the “International Filings” search tab, next to SEDAR (Canadian) filings.
In the second half of 2016, Lexis Securities Mosaic will be unveiling some major product enhancements, kicking off in early July with the addition of U.K. Filings from the National Storage Mechanism. Check this blog next week for more detail on that content addition. And for those who will be attending the 109th annual AALL conference in Chicago next month, I’ll be hosting a special session dedicated to Securities Mosaic, offering a sneak preview of another major feature release coming in September.
As a general rule, though, Blogmosaic is your best source for news and information on Securities Mosaic, including what’s new and what’s on the horizon. Indeed, a search on the blog’s archive proves the point. If you click on the the “product enhancements” link in the blog’s “category cloud,” you’ll see a long (and impressive) list of noteworthy enhancements and content additions over the last several years. What have we done for you lately, you ask? Now you know. And the best is yet to come!
We are proud to announce the inaugural issue of the bi-weekly Lexis Securities Mosaic Corporate Counsel Report. This newest addition to our venerable suite of news emails is aimed at lawyers who represent the interests of corporations, offering a resource to help them keep on top of the fast-paced, multi-faceted, and rapidly changing world they inhabit.
If you’re a Securities Mosaic subscriber, you can check out today’s issue, hot off the press, here. Or you can sign up to have the Corporate Counsel Report delivered to your email inbox every other Wednesday. Just click on your name in the upper right hand corner of the Securities Mosaic website, select Manage News Emails, and opt in. (You can also go there to opt out – but why would you?) A personal account is required to receive the Corporate Counsel Report directly; contact your librarian or account administrator if you have questions. Going forward, subscribers will also be able to retrieve or search across past issues of Corporate Counsel Report going back six months by navigating to our News & Blogwatch archive.
If you’re not a Securities Mosaic subscriber, click here to learn more about the Corporate Counsel Report and request a free trial.
The FINRA conference brings together regulators, investors, government officials, information providers, and others to discuss issues pertaining to the financial services industry. The goal is to give financial professionals an opportunity to get up to speed in an ever-changing and complex regulatory environment. We hope to see you there!
Next week, Lexis Securities Mosaic will unveil its first new newsletter in many years. Joining the ranks of the Daily Securities News, Blogwatch, and the various other publications that compose our highly regarded news service, the new Corporate Counsel Report represents our first news offering aimed at in-house counsel and the corporate lawyers who advise them.
The Corporate Counsel Report will be published bi-weekly, and will focus on current trends and hot topics from the previous two weeks in the areas of securities, M&A, and corporate governance. The publication will typically include the following sections:
- Top Stories is a wrap-up of noteworthy happenings from the previous two weeks, with links throughout to outside news sources and Lexis Securities Mosaic.
- Law Firm Insights offers summaries of and links to selected pertinent law firm memos.
- Notable No-Action Letters also offers short summaries of selected content, with a focus on shareholder proposal issues.
- Quick Hits includes compliance requirements, agency investigations, enforcement actions, and noteworthy M&A activity.
We’ll send the Corporate Counsel Report to many of our current Securities Mosaic subscribers every other Wednesday afternoon, beginning May 25. You can email me directly if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.