Sunday, 23rd July 2017

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Sunday share tips: Debenhams, gold

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Updated: Sun, 16th Jul. 17:43:30

Alexander Bueso

(ShareCast News) - Avoid Debenhams' shares, the Sunday Times' Inside the City column said, as the department store group has a property fixed-cost millstone around its neck. Leases on its 161 UK stores have an average 20-year lease, mostly signed in very different retail landscape back in May 2006. Furthermore, Debenhams' sales density is felt to be very poor, with one analyst saying its 175 per square foot per year compares with with roughly 295 at Next and 500 at Marks & Spencer.

Chief executive Sergio Bucher, freshly arrived from Amazon, and chairman Sir Ian Cheshire have sketched out their 'Debenhams Redesigned' strategy to make stores more 'experiential' by using their large amounts of space by adding 'social shopping' concession such as nail bars and pizza chains like Franco Manca. While Sport Direct has taken a large 17% stake, hedge funds and other short sellers have also targeted the stock, with at least 12.5% of the shares on loan.

Buy and hold gold said Midas in the Mail on Sunday, if you want the ultimate insurance policy, a hedge investment that tends to rise when other assets start to falter or inflation climbs. Demand rises if there are concerns about the banking system's strength. And gold comes into its own when the world appears close to collapse, which has seen concerns about North Korea, Donald Trump and Middle East push the yellow metal higher. For UK investors it can also help to offset sterling weakness.

You can buy gold via an exchange-traded fund, but ETFs tend to be an option for investors looking to make a quick buck by taking advantage of short-term price movements. Long-term investors often choose to buy physical gold - either in the form of coins or gold bars that they can hold at home or in a third-party vault. Physical gold offers a tangible store of wealth, which can be preserved or sold whatever the external circumstances.

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