There are two entries for Arsenal shares on the NEX exchange today, 27 March 2017, both for £17,750. This is a new record price for a single share – previously it was £17,500, first reached on September 7th 2012, and last paid just two months later on November 13th.
Since then the price dropped as low as £14,000 per share in 2014, before slowly climbing again. What is the reason behind these price changes, you may wonder. The price drifted downwards when the two major shareholders, Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov, stopped buying them. Usmanov hasn’t bothered buying since he reached the milestone of 30 per cent of the shares, and though Kroenke was still buying shares offered to him for a while after he achieved a majority, he also lost interest in purchasing more some time ago. There are still other buyers and sellers occasionally, but the market is so small it’s difficult to say what the value of the club is by the latest share price, and equally difficult to predict what the next price will be by looking at recent trades. Buyers and sellers are scarce enough that negotiations can be at an individual level.
Recent rises are probably partly to do with the scarcity of shares, but mainly to do with the perceived value of all Premier League clubs rising as a result of increased income and turnover from TV deals. Good news for Kroenke, as that’s what he’s here for. It’s not related very closely, if at all, to success on the pitch – also good news for Kroenke, as he’s not much interested in that.
The record price, as you can see from this table, was broken 28 times between November 2007 and September 2012, and has just been broken for the first time since. Incidentally, although there are two entries on the NEX exchange today, I’d bet that it’s the same share traded through a broker. These trades of one share showed as two separate items on the ISDX, predecessor of the NEX, and I’d be very surprised if this was any different. There are only a few hundred shares remaining in individual hands, and most months in the last two years have seen fewer than five shares traded.