Finance

Capital Markets by Bernard J. Foley (auth.)

By Bernard J. Foley (auth.)

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Technical analysis; 2. Fundamental analysis; 3. The Efficient Markets Hypothesis. Technical Analysis Technical analysis, also referred to as Chartism, takes the view that in attempting to predict the future course of share prices it is useful to focus on the past behaviour of such prices. Chartists argue that share prices move in trends and patterns which periodically repeat themselves so the key to making gains is to recognise these patterns before others. According to technical analysts it really does not matter in which industry or markets the company operates, the use of a chart is sufficient to detect the likely movement in the price of its shares.

The EMH certainly struggles to explain what new information could have caused the shift in the valuation of stocks on one day compared with the previous day. Some authorities have instead argued that the events are better described as the result of a speculative bubble. Shiller (1987) for example points out that before the Crash occurred surveys estimated that over 80% of institutional investors and more than 70% of individual investors took the view that the market was over-valued! This hardly seems compatible with the EMH: why did not those believing the market to be over-valued act on their beliefs and sell earlier?

It is possible therefore for both private and public companies to use a private placement by circulating an offer through a merchant bank or a broker who may have a list of potential subscribers. (S) This is because institutions and other clients are being sold shares which may be illiquid in the sense that ready buyers are not available and therefore there is no immediate market price. Private placements nevertheless carry a number of major advantages: o The fact that a well known broker arranges the issue gives investors confidence that there has been 'due diligence' in investigating the company; o The securities house managing the placement has its own established list of clients - generally comprising major financial institutions which have a huge cash flow and a considerable appetite for new investment outlets; 22 Capital Markets o It is of course also possible for the issue to be underwritten but while this guarantees a successful outcome its adds to the cost of the operation; o An issue which has the support of institutional investors facilitates further borrowing of for example bank capital on finer terms; o Issuing costs via a private placement are generally very much smaller than a public offering.

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