Not so bearish

Despite 6 weeks of broad UK index declines, there were snippets of good news in the sector:
Polar Capital’s perseverance with its Japanese specialty has at last been rewarded by the market recovery there, meaning a big rise (80%) in management fees which translated to a thumping 162% rise in earnings per share.
S&U have published a very positive IMS, reporting simultaneous improvements in both quality and quantity of new lending plus a new £15m bank facility to provide scope for further expansion of the loan book.
Begbies Traynor deserve respect for continuing to earn decent profits despite political interference in the economy resulting in the level of insolvencies being slightly less than half the normal for this stage in the economic cycle. Boom times for insolvency practitioners may have to wait until Mark Carney increases interest rates; but in the meantime Begbies shares provide solid performance and a 5.7% yield.
Some bad news: Albemarle & Bond’s belated results for the year to end-June show a slump in profits from £21.4m to £9.5m before exceptional; that means second half profits excluding all exceptionals collapsed from £9.3m to £1.5m.

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