Then on the 29th one was removed again. I phoned Plus Markets to ask why and after a bit of hesitation the gentleman I spoke to decided that one of them had been put up with an incorrect price, so should have been replaced by the second one instead of remaining there with it. I wasn’t entirely convinced by that, as it was the second one that was removed, leaving the website looking like this:
I emailed Plus Markets to ask what was going on, and they phoned me back with another explanation. (I hadn’t even put my phone number on the email, but they must be getting used to me by now.) What they said was that there were two trades all along, but the trade information is supplied to them by a market-maker, and they just post what they get given. In this case the market-maker had decided that there was some problem with one of the trades and had to remove it until the problem was resolved. Although the details posted today are exactly the same as those posted and removed previously, there must have been (they said) some other problem with the trade – settlement date, buyers or sellers details; something that is part of the required information but isn’t just the basic price, quantity and time of trade.
Is this the final story then, I asked. Definitely no further changes? Has the settlement date passed? Settlement is normally three working days after the trade, they told me – which is today – but may be later depending on the agreement of the buyer and seller. So I guess there is some possibility that this isn’t the end of the story, though it should be.
I said I was surprised that information had been posted and retracted, given that I was aware that in the past trades were not posted until a couple of days later than the date of the trade, in order to ensure that everything was present and correct. Yes, they said, that does happen, but in this case they were subject to the whims of the market-maker.
So there you have it: 40 Arsenal shares traded in a day for a total of £684,000 – or the same 20 Arsenal shares traded twice, netting £2,000 profit for the first buyer, who resold two minutes later. Even if it were only 20 shares traded, it’s still the biggest single trade all year, and there are only ten people aside from Kroenke, Usmanov and Fanshare who have enough shares to sell 20 in one hit.
We still don’t know whether Red & White are the buyer – though they have said they’re not, and have blamed a ‘speculator’ (unlike Mr Usmanov, who is a lifelong fan, ahem). All will become clear in due course, though. No thanks to Plus Markets.