Stock Market Watch: What should have been in the papers today!

Drug delivery technology group Midatech Pharma (MTPH) had traders scratching their heads on Friday over the reasons for a rise of as much as 50%, as the US listing of the company surged to a 20% premium over its UK counterpart pre-US market open.


The shares added themselves to the recent list of one day massive rallying pharma stocks such as Synairgen (SNG) and Avacta (AVCT), which have outperformed in the post Covid period. Possible explanations for the rise doing the rounds in the market were the prospect of a fresh big pharma tie up to be announced next week, a possible takeover of the company at 100p plus – it has previously put itself up for sale, or the prospect one of its drug deliver patents being close to monetisation via royalty payments.

Education software group Dev Clever (DEV) has been part of the tech stock winners stable of serial stock market entrepreneur Chris Akers, boosted by the remote learning boom and need for careers guidance in the wake of the Covid pandemic. With the shares currently trading at a 15% discount to the latest institutional buying level of 10p, fans of the company have an opportunity to snap up a bargain price. Drivers for the company, which is partnered with dominant schools hardware giant Lenovo and immersive solutions giant Veative, include Dev Clever’s push into China and India, to add to the US and Canada. Given the way that Dev’s software is already embedded in Lenovo’s hardware, the prospect is of ever closer ties with its partners as the land grab in the space leads to consolidation.

Shares in waste plastic to hydrogen group Powerhouse Energy (PHE) have soared since the Covid pandemic began earlier this year, as investors have become more conscious of renewable energy sources, and the need for a reduction of air pollution, which hydrogen fuel provides. The company has recently been bolstered by the arrival of Tory grandee Tim Yeo, and Allan Vlah, a director of Aviva Investors representing the 25% shareholding White family. The recent merger of Powerhouse Energy with developer Waste2tricity and these recent changes, including the backing of property giant Peel, should accelerate the order pipeline for Powerhouse’s £8m waste plastic to hydrogen plants, especially from the plastic waste conscious Far East.

Shares in Pakistan Coal project developer Oracle Power (ORCP) rose 7% as speculation regarding the long awaited green light, a letter of intent from the Government intensified. This was triggered by comments from Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub that the energy deficient country would aim to produce 60% of its needs by 2030. ““We will produce 10 per cent power through Thar coal reserves.” This appears to suggest that Oracle’s 175bn tonnes lignite project in the Thar desert is to be given the go ahead, something which investors in the company have been waiting on for several years. It also suggests that Oracle Power CEO Naheed Memon has made healthy progress with the Thar VI Project, alongside major shareholder HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s ruling family, and China National Coal.

Shares in Eurasia Mining (EUA) continued to fresh all time highs and a £600m market cap, as speculation grows regarding a potential buyer for the Russia focused Palladium play. Traders are betting on a big mining sector name bagging all or key parts of its assets, whose value has risen sharply in the way of the recent boom in precious metals. With UBS on board as its advisor to any deal, and the company described as the “last non consolidated Palladium play” by VTB Capital, shareholders appear to be in the box seat. In addition, with the shares having been subject to a bear squeeze resulting in the demise of short seller Jub Capital. This could mean that the longer the sale process takes, the higher the stock could climb as such shorters look to buy back their positions. Historically, any offer would likely be at a premium to the prevailing share price, with as much as 50% a possibility given the ongoing precious metals rally.

Food technology services group BigDish (DISH) is in focus ahead of the launch of its BigDish-to-Go delivery service next week, which observers of the company believe could give the likes of Deliveroo and Just Eat a run for their money. Restaurants would pay a flat fee to BigDish, rather than paying per delivery. Given that its delivery offering can work out as much as two thirds cheaper than its competitors, it could very well be the case that restaurants move away from existing delivery options. BigDish has already been in focus over the summer as Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out To Help out initiative, which has revived the dining sector, essentially mirrors BigDish’s existing off peak discount dining model. It could win yet again if restaurants who wish to continue the scheme themselves after EOHO finishes, as the technology to do so is already on the BigDish platform.

Technology investor Tern (TERN) has seen its space of tech start-up in the digital health and Internet of Things expand rapidly in recent months, with its investee companies bagging deals with the likes of Microsoft and the Mayo Clinic. One of Tern’s investments is in Wyld Networks. Its mesh based live networks are in the spotlight given the way that they allow monitoring of crowds in places such as football stadiums, hospitals, schools and airports. This enables organisations to track and trace the movement and proximity between individuals in crowds to ensure that adequate social distancing and safety is maintained. This particularly applies to known Covid positive individuals. Wyld’s platform is currently undergoing testing by NHS Scotland in care homes. Analysts believe a successful outcome to these trials could deliver a significant uplift to the value of Tern’s investment in Wyld, which it would eventually sell. is a purely journalistic website – Zak Mir is a member of the National Union of Journalists. There is no intention here of providing financial advice. It is recommended you seek an independent professional opinion before deciding whether or not to take any action with regard to anything written here.

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Share Talk.)


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