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Just Group jumps as it says 'no options excluded' from business review

“All of our directors have recently increased, or are in the process of increasing, their shareholdings, demonstrating their confidence in the group's ability to execute on its plan and their belief that the current market price bears no relation to the fundamental value of our group”

mortgage
Just Group is a life insurer specialising in equity release mortgages

Just Group PLC (LON:JUST) has emphasised that all options are on the table as it looks to maximise shareholder value and adapt its business model due to regulatory changes.

The FTSE 250-listed retirement products specialist, just four weeks after its first-quarter trading update and five weeks after chief executive Rodney Cook stepped down with immediate effect, said it “remains focused on delivering capital self-sufficiency by 2022, while in parallel developing other strategic and business options to enhance shareholder value”.

READ: Just Group shares surge after PRA equity release mortgages policy statement proves benign

On the day of its annual shareholder meeting, the equity-release mortgage specialist said it was adapting its business model in light of regulatory changes but a still-attractive market.

In December, the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority released a policy statement on equity release mortgages being held to back annuity liabilities. The capital requirements from the PRA's consultation paper was not as bad as some had feared.

With shares in Just Group having fallen more than 70% since the start of last year, several directors have snapped up a combined £209,000-worth of shares. 

“All of our directors have recently increased, or are in the process of increasing, their shareholdings, demonstrating their confidence in the group's ability to execute on its plan and their belief that the current market price bears no relation to the fundamental value of our group,” the company said. 

READ: Just Group boosted by JPMorgan Cazenove upgrade to ‘neutral’ from ‘underweight’ on valuation grounds

Following the appointment of a new finance chief, Andy Parsons, earlier in the week, who will join the group next January, chairman Chris Gibson Smith “is expediting the CEO appointment process”.

He said: “My focus is on maximising shareholder value, with no options excluded. This can now be done from a position of increased regulatory clarity, greater capital strength, a valuable new business franchise, all under the leadership of a strengthened management team.”

Just shares were up 14% to 57.50p on Thursday morning. 

Quick facts: Just Group PLC

Price: 61.55 GBX

LSE:JUST
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £637.09 m
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