The pilot episode of the much-hyped new TV series ‘Billions’ raked up almost three million viewers on debut in January of this year, which was a new record for Showtime. It is a sort of ‘Wall Street’ for a post Global Financial Crisis (GFC) audience. Damian Lewis heads the cast together with Paul Giamatti - and, the often parsimonious, IMDb has awarded the programme a premium 8.4 score. Lewis’s character Bobby Axelrod is an ambitious hedge fund manager and the sole survivor of the part-eponymous, Axe Capital, during the 9/11 attacks. Bobby is clever, charismatic and charitable (but not whiter than white). He is also very rich, lives in a nice house and knows what ‘billions’ is/are - and has a few himself; albeit these billions tend to slip in and out of his grasp, as is their wont. The UK Housebuilding Sector is also ambitious and survived the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing Global Financial Crisis. Similarly, it is smarter and wealthier than it has ever been; and, yes, charitable but not atramentous. It is also in award- winning form, which is a good job as it acts out another palpable crisis - the Brexit vote - and a £9 billion loss of value in six trading days. But do not despair.
On Friday 24 June, the UK Housebuilding Sector saw share prices fall 18%; and this was followed by a further 16% on Monday 27 June. Relative calmness then began to prevail and, over the six trading days between Fridays 24 June and 1 July inclusive, the net deficit was 22% (26% in pound notes). At the same time, almost 9% of the Sector’s shares in issue were traded
Housebuilders’ share prices fell by an average 22% actual and 26% weighted by market capitalisation in Q2 (this follows Q1’s minus 6% actual and weighted). The best performer was Telford on minus 11% and worst was Crest at minus 37%.
The year-to-date performance is similarly poor with an average deficit of 30% (32% weighted).
It is the same picture when comparing end June 2016 with a year ago i.e. minus 23% (minus 28% weighted); albeit Gleeson and Abbey crept into positive territory.
This also means two negative quarters in a row (Q1 and Q2 2016) and these follow eight-out-of-nine positive quarters.