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BT directors show faith

BT directors show faith

This year started badly for BT (BT.A): an accounting scandal in Italy, a profit warning, news of stagnation in its public sector business and a strong set of results from rival group Sky (SKY), all of which have created a bleak outlook. If ever shareholders needed a boost of confidence, it would be now, so a mass director share purchase might have come at just the right time.

Five directors have shelled out more than £500,000 for shares which, on 25 January, were trading at their 12-month low. Chairman Mike Rake is included in this merry band, as his wife spent £45,300 on 15,000 shares.

The recent share price slump marks a sudden change of events for BT, which at the end of 2015 was riding a wave of positive sentiment after winning the exclusive rights to broadcast the Champions League and successfully acquiring EE.

Buys       
CompanyDirectorDateNo of sharesPrice (p)Value (£)Holding (shares)Holding (%)
Albion Development VCT* Ben Larkin31 Jan 1770,72170.750,00070,7210.104
Albion Development VCT* Jonathan Thornton31 Jan 179,89770.46,967122,5240.181
Albion Enterprise VCT* Maxwell Packe (ch)31 Jan 1720,12099.419,999428,6130.858
Albion Venture Capital Trust* Ebbe Dinesen31 Jan 1711,12671.98,00036,5520.043
Amati VCT* Peter Lawrence (ch)30 Jan 17136,18473.43100,000303,1100.522
Amati VCT*♥ Peter Lawrence (ch)30 Jan 17136,18473.43100,000439,2940.756
Amati VCT*♥ Peter Lawrence (ch)30 Jan 17136,18473.43100,000575,4780.990
BT  Anthony Ball30 Jan 1770,000302211,40093,6520.001
BT  Iain Conn30 Jan 173,61630210,9208,0580.000
BT  Iain Conn30 Jan 1711,38430234,38019,4420.000
BT♥  Nick Rose30 Jan 1775,000302226,500125,0000.001
BT  Isabel Hudson31 Jan 174,87230614,9088,4240.000
BT♥  Mike Rake (ch)30 Jan 1715,00030245,300148,5840.001
Braemar Shipping Services Alastair Farley27 Jan 1720,000247.549,50033,3660.111
Braemar Shipping Services David Moorhouse (ch)30 Jan 1749,351252124,36549,3510.164
Crown Place VCT* James Agnew31 Jan 1719,54330.76,00040,3430.029
Daily Mail and General Trust Paul Zwillenberg (ceo)27 Jan 175,000693.7634,68810,0770.003
easyHotel Jonathan Lane (ch)30 Jan 1757,5008750,025120,0000.119
Ecofin Global Utilities and Infrastructure Trust Martin Nѐgre31 Jan 1719,783115.522,8492,321,6652.527
EnQuest Carl Hughes26 Jan 1720,00048.459,69020,0000.002
Findel Ian Burke (ch)26 Jan 1740,00020582,00040,0000.046
Griffin Mining♥ Adam Usdan27 Jan 1750,00051.925,95030,634,55617.984
Griffin Mining♥ Adam Usdan31 Jan 1725,00052.7513,18830,659,55617.999
Impax Environmental Markets John Scott (ch)30 Jan 1710,00021921,90045,0870.024
Impax Environmental Markets Aine Kelly31 Jan 1710,000217.421,74010,0000.005
JPMorgan Euro Smaller Companies Trust Marc van Gelder31 Jan 1730,00030691,80030,0000.019
Jersey Electricity David Padfield26 Jan 17964417.24,0223,4160.029
Lowland Investment Co Karl Sternberg30 Jan 171,000139713,9708,0100.030
M Winkworth Andrew Nicol (cfo)27 Jan 174,8001004,8004,8000.038
Mortgage Advice Bureau♥Nathan Imlach31 Jan 173813671,39823,0410.046
Mortgage Advice Bureau♥Richard Verdin31 Jan 173333671,22218,4510.037
Next Jonathan Bewes26 Jan 171,750383267,0601,7500.001
PZ Cussons Caroline Silver (ch)31 Jan 1710,000304.67130,46720,0000.005
Regency Mines Andrew Bell (ch & ceo)30 Jan 171,955,9560.525210,2734,258,3911.045
Sage   Donald Brydon (ch)26 Jan 1710,000599.93859,99463,0240.006
Sage Stephen Kelly (ceo)26 Jan 1725,0005.9651,491237,3460.022
Tethyan Resources Chris Goss (ch)26 Jan 1750,0004.192,095193,5180.133
Tethyan Resources Chris Goss (ch)27 Jan 17250,0004.110,250443,5180.304
Tethyan Resources Didier Fohlen26 Jan 17120,0004.255,1003,933,3332.695
Touchstar Ian Martin (ch)27 Jan 1725,00080.620,150300,2504.759
Touchstar Ian Martin (ch)30 Jan 1710,00084.58,450310,2504.918
Whitbread David Atkins01 Feb 171,425394356,1881,4250.001
WideCells  David Bridgland (cfo)30 Jan 1720,00013.3752,675252,5520.467
WideCells  Graham Hine (ch)30 Jan 1720,00013.372,6743,198,6985.917
WideCells  Marilyn Orcharton30 Jan 1720,00013.4452,689135,9520.251
WideCells  Lopes Gil30 Jan 1720,00013.252,6508,020,00014.836
WideCells  João Andrade (ceo)30 Jan 1720,00013.252,6508,020,00014.836

Sells       
CompanyDirectorDateNo of sharesPrice (p)Value (£)Holding (shares)Holding (%)
CVS♥  Nick Perrin (fd)27 Jan 171,950104220,31928,2860.044
IG   Stephen Hill26 Jan 1770,000529.97370,97915,9660.004
Polar Capital  Brian Ashford-Russell31 Jan 17200,000374.75749,5006,075,0006.646
Titon  Tyson Anderson30 Jan 1728,15013538,003693,7506.389
Triad  Nick Burrows (fd)31 Jan 1718,0007814,0409,8930.065
Workspace♥  Graham Clemett (cfo)26 Jan 1715,000757.32113,598147,6740.090
Workspace  Graham Clemett (cfo)26 Jan 1715,000757.32113,598162,6740.100
Workspace  Jamie Hopkins (ceo)26 Jan 1711,848757.3289,727165,5250.101
Workspace♥  Jamie Hopkins (ceo)26 Jan 1735,000757.32265,062130,5250.080
*Placing/tender/open offer ♥Spouse/connected party 

IC VIEW:

On a historical basis, BT's shares - at 310p - look cheap. But we're concerned that the recent revelations from the Italian business reflect deep-rooted troubles in the group's international division. With content costs rising, competition fierce and the future of the group's Openreach cable business uncertain, we're not recommending investors follow the directors in. Hold.

Last IC View: Hold, 306p, 26 Jan 2017

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By Megan Boxall,
09 February 2017

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