ASX Small Caps News Wrap: Which utter maniac said ‘yeah… nah’ to a $2 billion soccer contract last night?
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Local markets opened with a -0.21% thud this morning, led lower by a sell off on Wall Street overnight. However, remarkably, by lunchtime a rally here meant that the benchmark was pretty much flat when the lunch bell started to ring.
But first, it’s time to talk football (the one with the round ball), because early this morning news broke that Lionel Messi – widely considered as the best player of all time – has wrapped up his time with Ligue 1 team Paris St Germain, to go and play soccer in… America.
The kicker (if you’ll pardon le calembour, as sophisticated French wankers might say) is that he’s going to be playing for David Beckham’s US-based team, Inter Miami – which derives its name from the vastly more famous Inter Milan, and also because if you want to play for the club, you’ll need to ‘fly Inter Miami’ to get there.
(It’s horrible jokes like that which are fuelling my creeping fear that one of my sons is going to groan so hard at a joke I make, he’ll be mistaken for a large building on the verge of collapse, and be forced to spend his teenage years surrounded by scaffolding and support beams, while a steady stream of structural engineers closely inspect his feet and legs to make sure he’s safe to be around.)
But back to Messi’s Big Decision, because there are several reasons why this is huge and Very Serious Stuff worth writing about here.
The Argentinian says he’s leaving on reasonable terms with the club, and wanted a change of scenery and lifestyle – but didn’t need to mention that there’s also the fact that when it comes to letting people know what’s on their mind, French soccer hooligans are pretty bloody good at it.
So Messi’s been copping a right old bagging by his own French team’s fans, because he was the man who led Argentina to victory in the World Cup… by beating a French team that featured a lot of his PSG squad mates, in the final.
But don’t panic… I’m choosing to focus on the reasons that are, from an outsider’s perspective, somewhere in between ‘baffling’ and ‘nonsensical’ on my patented ‘Stronach Scale of Not Understanding Stuff’.
Yep… that happened. Knowing that his contract with PSG was coming to a bumpy end, some Saudi team offered him a disgustingly massive amount of filthy, blood-stained oil money to come and play football in the blistering Saudi desert heat, alongside Christiano Ronaldo.
It’s been widely reported as a transfer that would have seen Messi pocket about $2 Billion. (Not a typo… that’s Billion with a capital “B”) if the deal went ahead (and given that he’s got form for not chipping in properly when the taxman comes calling, it’d probably be close to the entire $2 billion, as well).
To put that into perspective, his annual paycheque would place him well above of countries like Samoa (both the real one and the American one), and Vanuatu (main export: raging diarrhoea for cruise line passengers) in terms of annual GDP.
Also, Messi quite clearly (and rightly so) thinks Ronaldo’s a dick.
Messi might well have been considering going back to his first real love at the Spanish side that propelled him to international fame, but won’t be – because it’s Barca we’re talking about here, an organisation that couldn’t organise an outbreak of syphilis in a gross Tunisian brothel, let alone get a contract together to get Messi back.
Also, Barca’s got no money, after shelling out more than $225 million for three players (Brazil winger Raphinha from Leeds United, Poland forward Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich and France centre-back Jules Kounde from Sevilla, in case you care).,
The issue with that is two-fold: Firstly, Barca dropped that kinda dough right before Covid hit the kill switch on European football, and secondly becuase the club was already in so much debt, it’s a miracle it’s still in business.
As it currently stands, Barcelona’s reportedly more than $2.2 billion in debt, so either it’s going to sell some of its star players (like the cud-chewing cattle that they are), or up the price for a poorly-cooked chorizo on a slice of Wonder Bread outside the stadium to bring in enough scratch to pay it off.
This is hilariously true. Inter Miami was pretty much gifted to international boofhead DAvid Beckham as part of the staggeringly lucrative deal he snagged, that brought him out to the US to fail miserably at turning soccer into a mainstream sport.
He formed the club in 2018, and in just 5 short years, it’s been driven into the ground like a coal miner’s haul truck to lurk at the bottom of its division – and on top of that, the club unceremoniously dumped coach Phil Neville last week, presumably for being just as crap at his job as the guys he was meant to be coaching.
And speaking of being unceremoniously dumped, that needs to be the end of that story, because I have run out of time. Huzzah!
Aussie markets have recovered from an early dismal start to be pretty much flat at the lunch break
The early slump was largely the result of Wall Street investors pumping the brakes a little, which soured local sentiment further than it already was – it’s been a tough week.
The big loser this morning has been the recently-buoyant tech sector, which has taken a proper, old skool thrashing today to be down well below the rest of the market at -2.7%.
But, happily, Energy is going gangbusters with a 2.5% gain, with Materials riding shotgun and providing moral support on +0.76%.
In the US overnight, Wall Street stumbled as the sky over New York turned the colour of an embarrassed peach thanks to appallingly high pollutant levels in the air because Canada is, apparently, on fire for some reason.
As EArlybird Eddy reported this morning, Wall Street’s love affair with all things AI has hit a bit of a rough patch, and the tech sector over there took a pounding that dragged the Nasdaa lower by 1.29%.
The rest of the US market did a little better, leaving the S&P down 0.38% and the Dow lower by 0.27 when the session ended there.
Big Dumb Memestock (otherwise known as Gamestop) had a bumpy ride overnight, with the company putting in a strong performance before and during (most) of its AGM.
The wheels came off it pretty rapid fashion, though, right around the time that Gamestop CEO Matthew Furlong was rolled right out of his job to make room for the GME Memelord himself… Ryan Cohen.
I have neither the time, nor the energy, to tell Cohen’s backstory here – but if you’re not doing much this afternoon, CNBC recently did some actual journalism and made Making of the Meme King, which is streaming on SBS on Demand.
Anyhoo… short version is that Cohen is revered by certain sectors of the US investing scene as something of a demi-god, he owns an 11.9% stake in Gamestop, and when they made him executive chairman at the AGM, Gamestop’s trading price fell 20%.
Make of that what you will.
Meanwhile in Japan, the Nikkei is down 0.13% this morning because just when you thought that country couldn’t out-weird itself, it turns around and does precisely that.
Today’s evidence that there is something deeply, troublingly wrong over there is a news report from Sapporo that police are frantically hunting for the person or persons responsible for a spate of really grubby thefts.
16 targets were hit by the thief in the second half of May alone, and the total number of unsolved cases in the city has reached 37.
Not too crazy, no… but the fact that the thief is stealing steel urinal grates from public bathrooms is enough of that special Japanese flavour to warrant a report about it here.
And, if you don’t believe me, here’s a video in a language you probably don’t speak, so you’ll have to just trust me that they’re talking about this stinky crime spree, and not just showing stock footage of public pissers while the newsreader’s talking about something completely different.
The mind boggles.
In China, Shanghai markets are flatter than Outback Aussie roadkill, and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng is lower by 0.25%.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for June 8 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
A look at the Small Caps ladder for the morning shows that Iceni Gold (ASX:ICL) is surging well above the rest of the pack, on news that further exploration at the company’s Everleigh Well target area has led to the discovery of a second gold-bearing outcrop.
“Assay results from the discovery of the second outcropping quartz vein with visible gold in the Everleigh target area are exciting, as they back up the initial field observations that reported visible gold in outcrop,” ICL technical director David Nixon said.
“High-grade rock chip results from the vein are supported by the underlying UFF+ soil anomaly, prospectivity indicators (including gold nuggets, workings and anomalous geochemical assays) and the multiple coincident targets generated by existing exploration work.
“The Everleigh Well target area continues to deliver in-situ gold bearing rock chips and significant numbers of various sized gold nuggets, where a number of key targets will be prepared for future exploration drilling.”
The rock chip analysis has turned up results with some silly numbers in them, ranging between 14,780g/t and 18,207g/t of gold – and here’s a picture of what ICL has found.
The timing couldn’t really be much better for ICL – the 1-2 Combo of a visually spectacular gold find, and a market looking for stable ways of finding safe haven while Australia economy gasps and wheezes has sent ICL’s price up 64% at lunchtime tobay.
In second place, Solis Minerals is boasting a smile today – it’s up 25.4% on news that the company has received firm commitments to raise A$8.155 million at an issue price of A$0.55 through a placement of new fully paid ordinary shares.
Solis recently brought news to the market that it has sorted out the purchase of the Jaguar lithium project last week in Brazil, where the company says there are rock chips grading up to 4.95% Li2O along a 1km long, 50m wide spodumene-rich pegmatite body.
Drilling will kick off this month.
And in third place, Adavale Resources has climbed 16.6% on news that the company has two working drill rigs operating at the Kabangan Jirani nickel project in Tanzania – an update to a market that is eagerly (ie not very patiently) reaching for any good news that it can throw few bob into on an otherwise iffy day.
Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for June 8 [intraday]:
Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:
Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap MTL Mantle Minerals Ltd 0.001 -50% 37,500 $12,294,892 PRMDG Deferred Settlement 0.013 -35% 128,799 $2,424,609 AYM Australia United Min 0.002 -33% 281,250 $5,527,732 CLE Cyclone Metals 0.001 -33% 20,000 $15,396,757 AHN Athena Resources 0.003 -25% 996,666 $4,281,870 AJQ Armour Energy Ltd 0.003 -25% 1,729,689 $19,685,368 CHK Cohiba Min Ltd 0.003 -25% 6,837,192 $8,452,977 MCT Metalicity Limited 0.0015 -25% 42,933 $7,472,172 AOA Ausmon Resorces 0.004 -20% 1,194,679 $4,846,447 SFG Seafarms Group Ltd 0.004 -20% 2,914,765 $24,182,996 DLT Delta Drone Intl Ltd 0.013 -19% 4,250,034 $8,275,260 CHR Charger Metals 0.4 -18% 883,069 $21,420,040 DCX Discovex Res Ltd 0.0025 -17% 1,000,000 $9,907,704 MRD Mount Ridley Mines 0.0025 -17% 851,868 $23,354,649 ALV Alvomin 0.325 -16% 5,562,462 $20,801,522 SGC Sacgasco Ltd 0.011 -15% 9,784,771 $8,004,411 RFX Redflow Limited 0.195 -15% 892,581 $41,348,103 CPT Cipherpoint Limited 0.006 -14% 7,913 $8,114,692 LDX Lumos Diagnostics 0.012 -14% 534,101 $4,331,881 MXC Mgc Pharmaceuticals 0.006 -14% 539,255 $23,447,851 OAR OAR Resources Ltd 0.003 -14% 1,196,666 $8,998,633 KNG Kingsland Minerals 0.335 -14% 413,780 $12,261,538 IRX Inhalerx Limited 0.043 -14% 79,420 $9,488,348 RR1 Reach Resources Ltd 0.013 -13% 30,422,653 $41,325,760 AX8 Accelerate Resources 0.02 -13% 18,912 $8,684,840