News & Analysis

No return to work? IWG share prices dip further despite perceived end of restrictions

Andrew Saks, Monday, 19 July 2021

If anyone had asked a business leader in the early 1990s what they thought the meaning of 'freedom day' refers to, it is likely that imagery of cold war era phraseology would have been invoked.

Today, it is the West that is using such terminology, whilst the former Soviet Union's officials rub their hands in the fresh profits from supplying oil to the West via a newly reopened pipeline.

How the roles have reversed, a matter that is being shown clearly with the continued empty offices across parts of Europe, and in particular Britain, where travel restrictions still remain in place, and despite a year and a half of lockdowns, nobody is making much of a concerted effort to go to their places of work.

As a result, IWG, formerly Regus, the London Stock Exchange listed firm which is in the business of leasing office space to companies, is once again experiencing a stock decline.

IWG has been a company which has suffered tremendously since March 2020, however recently, its senior management had held some degree of hope that when July 19 comes, companies would continue their leases and staff would return to the office, even if not to full capacity.

This has not happened, and on July 19 there was not a sudden rush, and senior members of the British public are playing an isolation game which is being widely perceived as an attempt to keep the fear factor up, therefore shares are down a further 3.4% today compared to close of business on Friday, meaning that during the past trading week, IWG stock is down a total of 6.72% to 295.8p per share.

This is a complete contrast to the value of the stock in February 2020, when it was at a 5 year high at 351p per share.

The company's shareholders were a sudden casualty of lockdowns and work from home orders in March 2020, decimating the share price overnight. It began to recover in the early part of 2021, but to nowhere near the levels of late 2019 and early 2020.

Whether this is now likely to be volatile or not hangs in the balance. Any recovery or total stagnation depends on the future of the working environment and whether companies will scale back and keep work from home practices, or whether they will realize that maximum productivity only comes from full on-site operations.

Therefore, no analysts have made any comment one way or another about IWG stock recently.

A taboo subject seems to remain a taboo subject. Just ask Apple's Tim Cook!

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