Part of the raison d’etre of #StockMarketWatch is to fill in the gaps left by the mainstream media.
Although one still got the feeling that there was plenty of year end shuffling of portfolios, largely hitting the big, extended winners – in the end it was another day of churn. For instance, the FTSE 100 closed up just a few points. In terms of the newsflow in the small caps space though, there was a decent mix of sectors.
It has been interesting with regard to digital passport group Catenae Innovation (CTEA) that investors have not given the technology specialist the benefit of the doubt. This is despite the way that that it has responded to the Government’s call for evidence on whether COVID-status certification could play a role in reopening the UK economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. It also has an all in one solution in terms of a proprietary COVID-19 Test and Vaccination Certificate Service on a platform which is GDPR-compliant. Of course, while the idea of a digital passport has been called into question on civil liberty grounds, historically Government consultation processes are softening up processes for fait accomplit legislation – witness the latest six months extension to the COVID laws.
There was plenty going on at Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS), where the RNSs came in like London buses. The first was that the biotechnology company plans further development of Foralumab, its proprietary anti-CD3 human monoclonal antibody in Covid-19. The second was Tiziana in order to finalise the distribution of shares in its breast cancer diagnostic offshoot Accustem to the holders of Tiziana shares in the US via its ADS program, it has recently filed a Form 20-F with the Securities Exchange Commission in the USA. The trio of announcements was completed by news the FDA has allowed evaluation of nasal administration with Foralumab in a secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patient. Clearly, with regard to the pathology of MS this is a significant development. Shares of Tiziana closed up 7%.
After a very encouraging December spike for the shares, Latin American focused upstream oil and gas company Echo Energy (ECHO) had occupied a frustrating range between 0.5p -0.8p. We found out what the stumbling block to an extended rally in the wake of news that Echo has successfully completed the restructuring of its debt obligations. The company said its new arrangements will result in no cash payments to Noteholders until maturity in 2025, enabling the Board to focus on rapidly delivering on its strategy to improve shareholder returns. Echo shares rose 21%.
Sometimes the stock market is rocket science, and sometimes there is a certain logic to the way it works. At the end of February UK and Canada focused oil and gas company i3 Energy (I3E) said “It is expected that the Company will declare its maiden dividend in Q1 2021 – subject to loan note holder, judicial, and shareholder approval – for payment in early Q2. As previously disclosed, the Company aims to distribute up to 30% of free cash flow as a dividend to shareholders.” Therefore, with one day to go until the end of Q1 2021, it was not too surprising that shares of i3 Energy were up nearly 13% to reach a 52 week high.
Kibo Energy (KIBO) the multi-asset, Africa focused, energy company rose another 7% after announcing earlier in the week that its MAST Energy Developments Plc (MED) is to list on the Official List of the London Stock Exchange by way of a Standard Listing on 14 April 2021 under the ticker MAST. With Kibo having said that it had received strong institutional and retail support having raised in excess of £5m for MAST, it would be presumed that some of the pixie dust of the float will finally rub off on Kibo in terms of a positive re-rate.
(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Share Talk.)
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