Good morning!

Did you see that TV programme about RBS last night? It was fascinating, and showed the extraordinary recklessness, hubris (and inadequate regulation) of the top brass at RBS leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

This reminds me of an excellent book on the financial crisis, written by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, called "Back from the Brink". This is a book I enjoyed, so it's well worth a read. I must dig out my copy & re-read it. Our banking system literally came within hours of collapse.

I see that Aston Martin Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings (LON:AML) has announced its offer price, which is £19.00 per share. With a total of 228.0m shares, this values it at £4.33bn. 57m shares are being sold by selling shareholders, about 25% of the shares in issue, with a further 5.7m shares possibly being sold. There doesn't appear to be any new money raised for the company.

I've added it to my price monitor, more for curiosity than anything else. There's a lot of volume being traded in the first 12 minutes of trading this morning, at the time of writing, 3.5m shares already traded, with the price moving slightly above & below the £19 issue price.

The development costs of new models are astronomical. So when I saw that AML was quoting EBITDA (which ignores those costs of course!), then I rejected it immediately as a possible investment. I like driving Aston Martins, but I wouldn't want to own shares in it.

It will be interesting to see how this deal works out. My broker tells me that the IPO and fundraising market is awful at the moment - with several proposed IPOs and placings being cancelled due to lack of interest from investors. Therefore this might not be a good time to be holding shares in listed stockbrokers, if they rely on deal income.

Topps Tiles (LON:TPT)

Share price: 66.4p (up 5.8% today at 08:06)
No. shares: 196.4m
Market cap: £130.4m

Trading update

Topps Tiles Plc (the "Group"), the UK's largest tile specialist, announces a trading update for the 52 week period ending 29 September 2018.

Following on from surprisingly good results from

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