Keen followers of the small cap market in London over the years will be familiar with the history of what is now called Aquis Exchange (AQX), and will be aware that it has had more incarnations than Doctor Who. However, it would appear that there will be no need for any fresh reboots / re-brands. Instead, fans of small caps may be even be able to say that Aquis is the UK’s Nasdaq some day very soon. This comes after news that the AIM listed group is in talks with some of the largest retail platforms to establish live electronic trading. This is something that in terms of convenience, profile, reputation and image, would certainly be a game changer for investors in terms of establishing a “level trading field”.
Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the more high profile Aquis listed stocks / Spacs, felt the benefit of Aquis’s move, something which has been championed by serial entrepreneur Chris Akers, and some leading Fintwit influencers. His current TR1 / stakebuilding target and a Spac favourite, Quetzal Capital (AQUIS:QTZ) saw its shares rise another 6% to 8.15p – double the 4p £3m placing price last week. There was also a knock on effect at Upper Thames Holdings (AQUIS:UPPT), which is in the run up to a zeitgeist winning name change on March 29th to Valereum Blockchain. The Richard “Wishbone Gold” Poulden led company is to be a global blockchain derivatives provider and felt the benefit of an interview given by him earlier this week in the form of a 25% share price rise.
Away from the new Nasdaq, it was noticeable how there were rather more instances of one and one equalling a little more than two on the “old” London stock market. Chief among these was long dated income group Dukemount Capital (DKE) a.k.a real estate Spac to its fans. Here traders were either going for the idea that the company is at a shell valuation, or that every day that passes is one day less to a new long dated income deal. All of this Spock like logic left Dukemount shares up 10%.
Another company which has kept investors on hold for the longest time has been tech company investor Tern (TERN). Here some investors were betting on the Internet of Things company actually delivering a liquidity event, rather than a fund raise to develop one of its investee companies. Given that it is now 2021 and Tern has presumably enjoyed the massive re-rate of its technology assets since the pandemic began 12 months ago, it could very well be that at least one of these companies has reached the kind of valuation which it might deem as sufficient to merit consideration for an exit. Shares of Tern soared 35% higher.
One of the ironies of the stock market is that sometimes it is the “strong, silent type” stock which does just as well, or better than the hyped up “next big thing.” This has been seen in the wake of the recent IPO of Amte Power (AMT), where professional and institutional investors have been quietly lapping up the stock, now up around 100p from its float price. There was another 19% spike as it was apparent the re-rate from an embarrassingly low initial rating is ongoing at the Lithium-ion battery cell developer, which has just announced it has just announced it has been awarded the LSE’s Green Economy Mark.
Coincidentally, Grapite and Graphene specialist Tirupati Graphite (TGR) was a winner of the Green Economy Mark in December – just after being floated, and has since more than doubled in terms of its share price since then. The company received an added boost with a mention in the Daily Mail, pointing out how the current $85m Graphene market could swell to $1bn within three years, something which should help vertically integrated Tirupati within the space. Shares of Tirupati closed up 5%.
Covid-19 testing stocks have been among some of the best stock market performer of the past year, with some rising ten fold over the period. Interestingly enough, it would appear that the space is still evolving, with technology driving this advance. We were reminded of this in the wake of the latest update from AI, clinical research, and life science group Deepverge (DVRG) as the “Labskin” group, announced initial results from its phase III clinical studies of a rapid COVID-19 breath test. These showed results can be delivered in under 60 seconds, something which is not only a game changer for the testing area, but could also accelerate a return to post-pandemic normality. Investors were also tantalised with the possibility that other pathogens, not only COVID-19 could be identified in the same 60 seconds or less fashion. Deepverge said that further tests with larger groups are to be carried out as it aims to deliver a rollout of the Microtox BT later this year. Shares of Deepverge rallied 6%.
Finally, exploration and resource development company Empire Metals (EEE) has been something of an enigma share price wise in the recent past. This is despite a solid run of newsflow, the latest of which was as good as any in the recent past. The company confirmed that the next phase of works at the Company’s Eclipse Gold Project, located 55km north-east of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia is fully funded and will commence very soon. Given that this could prove to be a significant asset, and with all of the water under the bridge in recent months, the stock market appeared to be playing hard ball with the explorer yet again.
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