It would appear that a change of name can be something of a shot in the arm, not only from David Bowie to Ziggy Stardust, but also from Nakama to Ridgecrest (RDGC). Indeed, the company former known as Nakama has successfully change from being an AIM cash shell, to one which was even more cashed up following the announcement of a placing to raise £2m at 0.6p. Even more compelling was the way the placing price proved to be as cheap as chips as compared to the overnight close at 1.4p, and the closing price on the day of 1.65p. The momentum was helped along by an update on the company’s Australian liquidations, the arrival of James “All Active Asset Capital” and “Vela” Normand as a NED, and sour grapes amongst traders who were not in at 0.6p.
A situation where even mere mortals could get on board came from biotech Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS), as it updated the market with both barrels on the same day. The first news was that the company’s AIM Delisting will be effective from 7.00 am 21 January 2021, with admission of the shares to the Official List and commencement of dealing in the Ordinary Shares of the Company on the Main Market will be effective from 8.00 am on 21 January 2021. The resultant 16% share price rise was off the back of hopes that being on the main board of the LSE would attract a bigger and better kind of investor – especially institutional, and improve liquidity. Later, Tiziana also announced that it would be participating in a Fireside Chat at the B. Riley Virtual Oncology Investor Conference on 21 January 2021 at 3 pm ET/8 pm GMT.
Sticking with the pharma space, and it is rare that sprawling services group Open Orphan (ORPH) is out of the news for long. In this instance the company said that it has opened two new volunteer recruitment centres to screen potential trial volunteers, the first in East London and a second in central Manchester. These new locations are part of the Company’s expansion of its human challenge study trials launching in 2021, an offering which is clearly in heavy demand given the ongoing pandemic.
Investment group Gunsynd (GUN) was also back in focus as it updated on the current exploration programme from Eagle Mountain Mining, one of its investee companies, an ASX listed copper-gold exploration and development company (ASX: EM2). Gunsynd said that the drill results from the exploration programme completed in 2020 at Oracle Ridge demonstrated good grade and width, and it looks forward to ongoing exploration following the commencement of the 2021 drilling programme commenced earlier this month.
Part of the rationale behind NQ Minerals (NQM) the Australia focused mining and production company seeking a listing on the LSE versus Aquis currently announced earlier this week, was and is to broaden its shareholder base. This strategy already appears to be working even ahead of the exit from Aquis, with a TR1 revealing a new 7% shareholder – an entry level which clearly indicates a level of seriousness in terms of commitment to the company.
A good illustration of how bullish the market is in the small cap space at the moment is the way that most stocks now remain above the placing price, or do a Ridgecrest and soar above it. Even former laggard Edenville Energy (EDL) has been able to enjoy the liquidity explosion with the stock jumping nearly 20% to 38p, following the recent placing down at 25p which raised nearly £1m.
With oil prices grinding higher, well above the $50 a barrel level on front month WTI, the small cap plays in the sector continued to recover. One of the more notable plays was Canada and North Sea focused i3 Energy (I3E), up 7%, as investors look forward to the company paying out a maiden dividend in Q1 2021. Interestingly enough, the shares managed to open the session at the low of the day and close at the high of session at 6.35p, something which suggests technically that there is significant accumulation occurring in the stock.
Although we are less than three weeks into 2021, we already have a new US President, and can also say that this year looks as though it will be the Year Of The SPAC – see RDGC above. One of the leading contenders in this respect looks to be Mustang Energy (MUST), which climbed 14% as investors await news on low risk proven oil & gas properties.
Tirupati Graphite (TGR), the newly listed specialist graphite producer and graphene developer with operations in Madagascar and India, announced an update on its Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre, which is focused on graphene manufacturing and applications. The company said that it had made all-round progress in = terms of the commercialisation of graphene applications. With the global market for graphene forecast to reach over US$1 billion by 2023, Tirupati said it intended to be a significant contributor to its growth.
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