After what seemed like a rather longer feel to the Easter holiday than usual, it was back to business for rapidly growing niche CRO pharmaceutical services company Open Orphan (ORPH). This is said on the basis that shares rose another 5% to another record high. This came in the run up to a well- received investor presentation after the market close. In it, Cathal Friel, Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman outlined the prospect of non-core spin offs from Open Orphan, which is a world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals, could swell the company to a sum of parts valuation of as much as £750m / $1bn. This could be achieved off the back of new dual London and Nasdaq listings.
Speaking of dual listings, a factor which Argo Blockchain (ARB) CEO Peter Wall credited with turning his company into one with a near £1bn market cap was the listing on the US OTC Market. Looking to achieve a similar feat is Aquis listed Cryptocurrency Finance, Defi and Blockchain Technology venture builder, Valereum Blockchain (VLRM). Backing the concept of VLRM’s move to the OTCQB Venture Market is the way the company’s board is so familiar with the US market. Valereum Blockchain currently has a market cap of just over £5m – with the new listing likely to be just a few weeks away.
Given that its specialist subject – so to speak, is the hottest part of the stock market currently – it has been somewhat surprising that early stage and pre-IPO investor Vela Technologies (VELA) has not itself been one of the high flyers. However, this state of affairs may finally change in the wake of the latest announcement from the group regarding payment services group Cornerstone FS (CSFS). Vela said that in December 2020 it had invested £200,000 in Cornerstone in a private placing by subscribing for 400,000 new ordinary shares of 1 penny each at a price of 50 pence per ordinary share, thus valuing Cornerstone at £8.3 million. This gave Vela a 3% stake, something which pleased the market enough to give its shares a 9% share price rise.
Ahead of the London open, there was more than a little anticipation with regard to how high shares of India focused oil and gas play Oilex (OEX) would rise given the way that their ASX manifestation had spiked 300% at one point. Of course, London being London it was somewhat unlikely that such a show of over exuberance would be delivered. Instead, helped along by the Australian gains and a Share-Talk interview, the shares managed to end the session up 32% after peaking above 0.5p.
After what feels like an extended programme at a significant resource, Xtract Resources (XTR) announced completion of the final hole of the Phase One diamond drilling programme at the Racecourse Inferred Mineral Resource (JORC 2012) on the Bushranger copper-gold exploration project, located in the Lachlan Fold Belt of New South Wales, Australia. Colin Bird, Executive Chairman of Xtract Resources said that the geophysical programme has commenced and on its completion much more about mineralisation trends and the potential of the Racecourse porphyry system will be understood. He added that the team now looks forward to preparing for Phase Two.
Sticking with the mining space, and it was apparently the case that the extended churn for shares of Copper / Gold play Rambler Metals (RMM) could finally be reaching a positive conclusion for the bulls. The problem is that with over 10bn shares in issue, taking up the slack of the last placing is understandably a rather extended process. Nevertheless, with speculation growing with reference to Nugget Pond as the sale there is due close in Q2 2021. Rambler shares rose 6%.
While it can hardly be said that any fresh ISA buying for the next tax year was exactly high profile, Rambler was trading at nearly three times average volume, with DeepMatter (DMTR) equally in active, and posting a 14% share price rise. The last we heard from the AIM-quoted company focusing on digitising chemistry, was three weeks ago when it signed a co-distribution agreement with Elemental Machines, the US based organisation helping biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies identify research problems through its sensor-based products. Prior to that in January, DeepMatter announced in January that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has entered into a multi-year, limited-use data licensing agreement with the Life Science business of Merck to provide proprietary chemical structure and reaction data content to Merck’s selected application.
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