MARKET REPORT: Director dealings do the trick at trader Plus 500 as shares jump

Plus 500 bosses spent their own money buying up the company’s stock

To boost investors’ confidence, sometimes bosses just need to put their money where their mouth is.

Shares in online trading platform Plus 500 surged after an assortment of top brass spent their own money buying up the company’s stock.

Chief executive Asaf Elimelech spent more than £280,000 on 30,460 shares, while finance head Elad Even-Chen splashed out almost £290,000 buying the same number at a slightly higher price.

Plus 500 bosses spent their own money buying up the company’s stock

But these contributions were dwarfed by co-founder Alon Gonen, who does not hold a board role, who spent £6.7million on 987,553 shares. A further seven directors also made purchases, sending the stock up 9.6 per cent, or 63.4p, by the close, to 724p.

It came a day after it announced a nosedive in profits and sales during the first half of the year.

It also revealed a rise in customers and plans to buy back shares from investors between now and next March. A year ago the co-founders sold a slew of stock for £145m in a move that sent a very different signal to the market and sparked fears shares had peaked.

As Liberum analysts said: ‘That directors should buy stock has been a key piece of investor feedback and is therefore notably responsive, especially taken with the recent buyback and new distribution policy.’

Ailing companies, take note.

Elsewhere, Aston Martin skidded to a new all-time low as it plunged during early trading, in the latest embarrassment for the luxury car maker.

Its share price dived by more than a fifth to 371p per share at its lowest point – a whopping 80 per cent lower than the 1900p per share it floated at last October.

The 007 favourite later clawed back much of the losses, closing down 4.9 per cent, or 23p, at 455.1p.

Aston is now worth less than a quarter of its market value since it became a public company, crashing from £4.33billion to under £1billion now. The most recent plunge doesn’t seem to have been sparked by any announcements, and there are no market updates expected.

Whatever the cause, investors will be hoping Britain’s only listed car maker can get out of its stock market cul-de-sac soon.

Royal Bank of Scotland shares slumped after a triple whammy of investment bank downgrades.

Macquarie, UBS and HSBC all took aim, with a mix of stock and target price downgrades, sending it plummeting 10.5 per cent, or 20.8p, to 177.65p.

The FTSE 100 closed down 1.13 per cent, or 80.87 points, at 7067.01, while the FTSE 250 shed 0.48 per cent, or 90.40 points, to 18,640.65.

Going ex-dividend: Shares affected included Royal Dutch Shell, which fell 3 per cent

Going ex-dividend: Shares affected included Royal Dutch Shell, which fell 3 per cent

Stock markets are still suffering from data earlier this week that indicates the world could be close to another recession.

But the Footsie was also dragged down by stocks trading ex-dividend – meaning that anyone who bought their stock from yesterday would not receive anything in the next shareholder payout.

Shares affected included Royal Dutch Shell, renowned for its generous dividends, which fell 3 per cent, or 69.5p, to 2275p.

Others included the banking giant HSBC, which dropped 1.8 per cent, or 10.9p, to 591.3p and Evraz, which lost 5.4 per cent, or 28.5p, to close at 498.9p.

Miner Kaz Minerals sunk 15.3 per cent, or 75.6p, to 419.1p, after it trimmed its dividend and posted a 19 per cent fall in pre-tax profits to £293million.

The Kazakhstan-focused company was hit by a fall in copper prices in the six months to the end of June.

Sirius Minerals, which is building a massive fertiliser mine in Yorkshire, rose 3.5 per cent, or 0.3p, to 9.15p after investment bank Citigroup disclosed it now owns more than 5 per cent of its shares.


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