There’s a Very British Scandal evolving in the United Kingdom, after taxpayers were shocked – shocked, I tell you! – to learn that the government has become a shareholder in a firm that organises swanky sex parties for rich, elite clientele.

The company, called Killing Kittens, is owned and operated by Emma Sayle, a school friend of the Duchess of Cambridge – so of course, it only operates with the highest calibre of clientele who wish to get nude and sweaty with loads of other obscenely wealthy people all at once.

Think “Eyes Wide Shut” meets “The first six rows of a Michael Buble concert”, and you’re probably on the money.

We can’t show you picutres of one the Killing Kittens events, of course, because the rules of common decency apply when we are talking about Serious Things like stocks and money and other Matters of Great Importance – so we got our Stockhead court room artist to do up some quick images of what it might look like.

Our artist’s impression of what a Killing Kittens sex party might look like. Pic via Getty Images.

How the British government came to be a part owner of the company was through its mid-pandemic – *ahem* – “stimulus package”, which saw Weird Uncle Boris hand out more than $2 billion to help keep “innovative businesses” afloat while the UK coughed itself into a coma.

Killing Kittens was given a hot cash injection (sorry), which – thanks to a clever clause in the scheme – converted to equity owned by the government at the company’s next round of fundraising.

Killing Kittens has reportedly climbed in value from 5 million quid in 2018, to 10 million in 2019 and was most recently valued at a frankly surprising 15 million pounds during a 1 million pound fundraising – which is when the govvie loan ticked over into a 1.5% equity stake.

The UK government clearly made the investment knowing full well that the company was highly likely to go tits up – mostly because the pictures on the website showed women doing precisely that. Again, we must turn to our artist for his impression of what the website shows.

Shocking. Absolutely shocking. Pic via Getty Images

There’s no word on whether any of the gross old British ultra-Conservative MPs who love nothing more than doing filthy, dirty things to each other will be getting an owner’s discount on their next sex party.

But if they do decide to host one through the company, it won’t be slim pickings for who they can invite, as it boasts a staggeringly grithy 180,000-strong member base.

That’s enough to fill Wembley Stadium with pasty-white flabby English group-sex enthusiasts two times over – a fact that, now we’ve thought about it, is not exactly the sort of mental image anyone needs before sitting down to lunch.

And for that, we say sorry. Let’s talk about things that make sense.

TO MARKETS

Aussie markets have had another mildly successful morning, climbing erratically from open towards a 0.5% gain for the benchmark, despite Wall Street ending its mediocre session last night on a downward trend.

It is Energy (+3.35%), Utilities (+2.65%) and Materials (+1.95%) driving the bus today, with most other sectors relatively well behaved, aside from Consumer Discretionary (-2.0%) and Info Tech (-1.25%), which appear to be fighting over an iPad in the back seat.

Up the top end of town, the movers include Collins Foods (ASX:CKF), which spiked ~12.0% after a solid earnings report this morning showed an 11% increase in revenue, up to more than $1.1 billion for the year.

Still with the big kids, and Stanmore Resources (ASX:SMR) – which plummeted last week, part of a dramatic fall from its all time high at the end of May – has bounced back, up 6.5%.

And… oh look. It’s Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA). Again. Sayona is proving harder to remove from the Lunch Wrap than a stubborn stain on your undies, largely because it is still careening around the market, climbing another 7.0% this morning.

Lastly, Imugene (ASX:IMU) has followed up a super day yesterday with a bit of a shocker this morning. The promising results from its anti-cancer drug trial had everyone excited on Monday, but the love has left the room, leaving Imugene down a very harsh 10.0% as we head to lunch.

Overseas, and Wall Street finished slightly lower, with purveyors of decidedly sub-par knick knacks Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) the big loser for the day, shedding 3.5% on rumours of a possible nation-wide shortage of craft glue and googly-eyes.

The Dow fell 0.20%, the S&P was down 0.3% and the Nasdaq was hardest hit, down 0.72% by the end of trade.

There are strong rumblings in the US around a buy-out offer for infamous trading platform Robinhood by Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX, sending RH shares up ~14% by close.

And in not-great news for anyone in the business in the US, talk is also getting louder about widespread lay-offs on Wall Street as firms begin tightening their belts.

In Asia, it was a mixed bag across all markets, with Japan adding 0.50%. However, Hong Kong and Shanghai markets didn’t fare so well, falling 0.60% and 0.34% respectively.

In commodities, things are also fairly mixed.

Oil prices are up nearly 1.0%, because of course they are – school holidays are just around the corner and the market loves nothing more than an excuse to gouge us all at the pumps while we ferry the kids to the beach to get sunburnt on the first day and then complain all week and then it rains and it’s time to drive home and the traffic is horrible and why do we even bother, really?

… but I digress.

Gas prices have dived the other way, dropping 0.95%, gold is basically a zero-sum game for the morning, while silver (-0.5%) and copper (-0.5%) are just adding a whole lot of blergh to the balance sheets.

Crypto is being super-weird again, with several players in the market posting trend-busting double-digit percentage gains over the course of the week, including Doge and Shiba-Inu.

We’re looking into it and will have something in-depth for you about it this afternoon – but for now, it’s crypto being crypto, and the big names like Bitcoin (-2.0%) and Ethereum (-3.0%) aren’t enjoying the morning so far.

 

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for June 28 [intraday]:

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In the Small Caps Battle Arena, the clear winner this morning has got to be HRL Holdings (ASX:HRL), after a serious-looking buyout offer from ALS Limited (ASX:ALQ) sent its price thundering through the +72% mark.

The offer from ALS puts a $0.14 per share price on HRL, well above market – however, HRL is very clear that negotiations are still ongoing, and that no agreement has been reached and there is zero guarantee the deal with happen.

That hasn’t stopped the market from getting in like clowns in a clown car – not that we think  you’re clowns… it’s just a metaphor. Honest.

News of a national contract with the I-MED Radiology Network has had a similar effect on the price of 4D Medical (ASX:4DX), which has surged more than 50% this morning.

On top of the new contract, the companies have also agreed to join forces and create a Lung Centre of Excellence, which is excellent news for lungs.

And news that the ASX is releasing 1,520,250 of BNPL fintech Butn’s (ASX:BTN) shares from escrow on July 6 has put some spark into investor’s mornings, adding a solid 43% to its price, taking it up to the $0.15 mark before lunch.

 

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for June 28 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort: