Okay, it’s been a long 12 months stuck at home and eventually, boredom wins.

Another day, another round of lockdown news. The Aussies being rubbish at cricket. Politicians behaving badly.

Yawn.

So eventually you feel maybe it’s time check out one or two of those truther and anti-vaxxer videos our – let’s call them “less tech-savvy” – friends and mums keep telling us we need to watch NOW.

And that’s all it takes. Suddenly, the veil lifts and everything makes sense. There’s a motive behind everything and anything that happens and it’s all THE MAN. The ONE PER CENT.

And hoo-boy, there really is nothing so wild that you can’t Google all the affirmation you’ll ever need for it.

Except there is. This:

Pic: Twitter

Apparently, the Ever Given, a 400m long, 200,000 ton cargo ship, got knocked aground by 40 knot winds while passing through the Suez Canal. But surely, given the importance of that shipping canal, if there were even a hint of such a thing happening, the people that run the Suez Canal wouldn’t let any of the 50-odd ships a day that pass through it even try?

In fact, in 2015, they didn’t. As 52 ships waited to enter on February 11, 2015, they were told to keep waiting. Winds had reached, coincidentally, 40 knots.

So yes, it can happen. Relatively mild winds – by ocean-faring standards – can toss a massive ship around. There isn’t a lot of room for error in the Suez Canal.

There is, however, enough room for a massive ship to execute this beautiful manoeuvre:

Which the Ever Given did, just before entering the skinny bit of the Suez Canal.

So, picture this. A week ago, you rang your Ladbrokes broker and asked “what odds will you give me that a cargo ship runs aground in the Suez in the next seven days”?

Yes, it has happened in the past, a couple of times. But literally, a couple of times – and 19,000 ships passed through in 2020. So you could still rightly expect something juicy from your broker.

Maybe worth a tenner. But then, you ask:

“How about a bit of a multiplier? What’s your offer on that same ship drawing a giant dick in the sea just before it gets wedged?”

You’d be told you’re having a laff. But sure, it’s your money and bad gambling habit. However much you want to lose on it, sir.

What we’re trying to establish here is the chance of the capatin of a ship drawing a giant dick in the ocean, then wedging it across the Suez Canal. A question which no one seems to be trying to answer because you can Google and get answers for “Donald Trump is a shape-shifting lizard“, yet not “Ever Given grounded on purpose”?

Okay, it’s a stretch. But is anything an actual stretch in 2021?

If you’re writing the script for the next James Bond movie, you just got the ultimate “evil villain trying to manipulate global markets” move handed to you on a silver platter, along with a bottle of Dom Perignon ’53 above the temperature of 38°F.

Surely it’s more conceivable – and interesting – than buying all the water for the day when the world runs out of water?

Well, it was a windy day. But oil prices did spike 6% on the news. Twelve per cent of global trade moves through that canal; $US9 billion worth of goods are being disrupted every day. So maybe follow the money, just for laffs.

And hey, ship captains are people too, who also get pissed off at their employers.

Come on all you truthers and anti-vaxxers. Lift your game.

Sigh. Back to reality, where apart from $US9 billion a day trade disruptions, the biggest news this week was a jobs board listed on the ASX.

 

IPO Watch: Airtasker is now ASX listed; shares gain 70pc on debut

Born in 2012, Airtasker is a platform connecting people and businesses needing tasks to be done with people that can do them. That, on a user base of 4.3 million people, equates to a job every 17 seconds, according to Airtasker.

And it helped ART raise $83 million at 65 cents a share, which rose to $1.10 on debut, which rose to as high as $1.90 on Wednesday.

It’s settling around the $1.50 mark, despite an absolutely dire effort by local redditors to lift it “to Saturn”, the saddest result of which was to claim an actual headline in an actually very well-regarded financial publication.

So what happens in the next five years? Is the whole online odd-jobs market one to get excited about?

There’s not a lot of competition in Australia. Hipages debuted at $2.45 late last year and hasn’t exactly lit up the sector it solely operated in.

(Hipages is, however, a News Corp digital asset and “News Corp” and “digital savvy” go together like “salmon” and “thickshake”)

Ironically, the best pop Hipages has had recently came on the day Airtasker debuted.

Regardless, don’t listen to us, because you can actually hear from Airtasker CEO himself, Tim Fung, about what happens in the next 5-10 years. He spoke to Nick Sundich the day after the IPO.

And if you prefer the talky-talk version to the ready-read one, we then hauled Tim into the studio for a longer chat with Dr Nigel Finch. Settle in.

Or here to listen with Apple podcasts, here for Spotify or here for Google Podcasts.
 

The ASX biggest IPO of 2020 is back under its IPO price. So is Nuix a buy or bust?

On the same day Airtasker made its ballyhooed debut, the last similarly ballyhooed debut slipped below its IPO price.

The share price of forensic data company Nuix (ASX:NXL) went into a tailspin in February after it admitted it had missed its prospectus forecast. It’s dropped more than 40 per cent since.

Eddy Sunarto asked investment adviser Adam Dawes, of Shaw & Partners, what went wrong. And obviously, because this is what we do, is Nuix a buy?

The tl;dr version – not much, and not yet.

But stick around and you’ll hear Dawes remind us of Nuix’s impressive Big Name client list, the globally recognised scandals its data forensics service has helped uncover, and why Nuix likes the end of half-years so much more than the beginnings.
 

Theta riches: Young Aussie dad turns $17k crypto investment into $1.4m

Props to Grave. In April last year he “researched the shit out of” token Theta and after liking what he saw, the 23-year-old Aussie gamer bought 17,000 bucks worth.

It cost Grave… his girlfriend? Six or seven weeks later, she dumped him for “wasting my money on stupid fake internet currencies.”

A year later, Grave’s $17K investment was worth $1.180 mill. Sorry, Grave’s ex:

Grave spoke to Derek Rose about what that meant to him, besides a $300K new car, and why he took that plunge last year. For seconds, he’s now holding out for $1000 Thetas.

“I wish I’d bought more!” he tweeted last Saturday. But he didn’t need to, because another 50pc pop since then means Grave just made about $650,000 this week.

That’ll do Grave. That’ll do.

In other crypto news, we have it all in our new crypto news section. Say hello to Cryptohead.
 

Bitcoin $US288,000 by December? Why one expert is a ‘massive bull’

This is not investing advice. Please, for the love of everything holy, and your children’s future, understand that this is not investing advice.

It is, however, an enticing headline. We get that.

And it’s based – so far – on a prediction made by Plan B, who crypto fans know as the forecaster who said in March 2019 that “one or two years after the halving, in 2020 or 2021”, Bitcoin’s value should be around $US55,000.

Sound familiar?

Here’s Plan B’s case for Bitcoin to average $US288,000 ($370,000) during this four-year cycle. That means it will have to hit that price by about, ooh… December?

Just remember, Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.
 

Perennial’s Brendan Lyons on the ‘new investment window’ in Australian capital markets

If you’re not paying attention to the IPO market, you probably should be.

There’s been about 20 new listings on the ASX already this year, after a Q4 surge which saw 47 companies hit the boards in the December quarter alone.

With IPO markets running hot, Stockhead got some front-row insights from Brendan Lyons — portfolio manager of Perennial’s second Private to Public Opportunities (PPP) Fund.

Lyon’s job is to provide capital and expertise for what he calls the LPO (last private offer), for private companies with established business models that are looking to public markets to fund their next stage of growth.

He says it’s a growing phase of Australian capital markets, with more companies choosing to stay private for longer to ensure that when they do list, they’re positioned to make the most of it.

Perennial now assesses around 700 companies a year looking to raise private funds. And if that’s anything to go by, investors should be on the lookout for the next ASX success story on its way to market.
 

The Secret Broker: As one door closes and whacks you on the arse, another one opens

Everything new is old.

Even these new-looking guys, who’ve just raised $50 million for their startup, Pipe:

That’s Pipe as in Pipe Dream. The lads’ big idea is to help fund companies’ cash flows which they then securitise and sell on to other players to hold.

So yeah, not a new idea at all. In fact, it’s kind of like that idea that Lex Greensill made billions off after founding Greensill Capital Australia. Made, then lost when GCA went bust after Credit Suisse froze four investment funds that had bought about $13 billion worth of its debt packages.

Anyway, good luck to the fresh faces at Pipe, says The Secret Broker. If one thing’s guaranteed, it’s that someone will win a heap of cash, eventually.

And TSB has a fair idea of who will win, because he remembers the difference between getting entertained in a corporate box at Lord’s Cricket Ground by start-up lawyers, and getting entertained in a corporate box at Lord’s Cricket Ground by wind-up lawyers…
 

Guy on Rocks: Gold selloff overshoots making juniors look attractive again

At what stage should you buy gold? It’s a curly one, especially when it seems like you’re the only person not making $650,000 a week out of crypto.

Harder – when the price over the past two years isn’t exactly one-way traffic:

Trent Primmer, head of trading at corporate advisory firm Barclay Pearce, has a simple answer, and it goes something like this:

“You should always have some gold exposure in your portfolio.”

So if you haven’t, get some. Here’s why Primmer says there’s no such thing as “a perfect entry price into something like gold”.

But wait, there’s more. Guy le Page is not only a stockbroker, he’s a former geologist. So unlike most gold holders, he’s actually, literally held gold.

He sees the recent selloff as an opportunity to buy into some juniors. Juniors such as, say, Lefroy Exploration.

Ack. Sorry if this is the first you’ve come across Guy on Rocks this week. Because if you read it on Tuesday when it came out, and bought a chunk of Lefroy, you be about 70 per cent up today.

That’s what pulling out cores with gold in them like this can do to a share price:

Diamond drill core from Hemi drilling
Diamond drill core from drilling at dDe Grey’s Hemi discovery.

Guy on Rocks, now a Tuesday special. If you don’t want to miss it, and haven’t subscribed to our morning newsletter… why? Here’s the link.

 

ESG investing: Australia still ‘two years behind the curve’, says global funds network

We’re not saying we live in a backwater down here at the bottom of the world, but we are just a little slow on the uptake. Let’s just blame geography and leave it at that.

Soon enough, we’ll be investing like mad things in ESG, just like they have been for years in the UK and Europe.

(Psst. ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance and relates to investment strategies based on stocks and sectors that meet a standardised set of criteria around issues like environmental impact and corporate governance.)

Or, as network platform Calastone calls ESG investments, an “undisputed success story”. Hard to argue with when in the past two years, $US84 out of every $US100 of new funds flowing into the Calastone network was allocated to funds that meet globally recognised standards for ESG.

If you need that in billions, about $US15.1 billion out of total inflows of $US18.1bn.

We’ll get there. And here’s what you need to know about when that might happen, and who’s already positioned to take your money.
 

As ‘uniquely hostile’ Australia readies its EV tax, imports jump a whopping 500 per cent

Speaking of future-fearing rubes, did you know the Australian government thinks it might be a good idea to force people who collect free power from the – ugh – sun, to pay for the privilege of supplying it to the national grid so someone else can sell it?

That won’t surprise you if you already know that driving an EV in Victoria will soon cost you 2.5 cents per kilometre. The “EV equaliser tax” comes into effect on July 1.

“Uniquely hostile”, is what Electric Vehicle Council chief executive, Behyad Jafari, calls it, and don’t think the rest of the world doesn’t know about it.

The managing director of Volkswagen in Australia recently told the Sydney Morning Herald he was struggling to convince the Germany-based company’s head office to ship more EVs to Australia. But he’ll have to do a better job, because suddenly imports of Teslas and other EVs soared nearly 500 per cent year on year in February to almost $125m.

What is strange is we love nothing more than a good battery stock. Fun fact: There have been a dozen +11-bagger ASX battery metal stocks over the past 12 months.

If you’re still waiting to get on board that train, here’s your updated Table of Riches Gone Begging:

CODE COMPANY 1 WEEK RETURN % 1 MONTH RETURN % 6 MONTH RETURN % 1 YEAR RETURN % PRICE MARKET CAP
RNU Renascor Resources 59 259 1067 2700 0.14 $ 208,213,729.25
AVL Aust Vanadium 37 8 63 225 0.026 $ 76,184,129.16
SYA Sayona Mining 32 11 356 486 0.041 $ 151,504,497.96
VRC Volt Resources 27 12 27 217 0.019 $ 45,226,233.92
SBR Sabre Resources 25 -29 -58 400 0.005 $ 8,415,318.25
PUR Pursuit Minerals 25 49 483 2619 0.076 $ 50,019,006.36
LPD Lepidico 23 13 200 291 0.027 $ 134,885,443.97
ASN Anson Resources 21 18 421 450 0.099 $ 84,916,475.99
PRL Province Resources 20 95 506 3296 0.15 $ 125,525,506.03
PAM Pan Asia Metals 18 0 0.165 $ 8,412,737.12
PGM Platina Resources 18 10 -22 342 0.053 $ 20,562,678.16
ALY Alchemy Resource 17 -22 -26 59 0.014 $ 10,083,651.80
IXR Ionic Rare Earths 17 6 489 833 0.056 $ 181,738,772.30
AZS Azure Minerals 16 6 61 446 0.355 $ 112,451,288.17
PLL Piedmont Lithium 14 48 603 1575 1.06 $ 1,516,215,025.26
AVZ AVZ Minerals 14 8 233 347 0.21 $ 621,385,512.63
IPT Impact Minerals 13 13 4 420 0.026 $ 44,522,161.03
AOU Auroch Minerals 13 -12 185 626 0.225 $ 60,577,574.20
JRV Jervois Mining 12 4 55 264 0.51 $ 409,168,425.30
SRI Sipa Resources 11 3 -25 50 0.06 $ 10,491,813.53
RXL Rox Resources 11 14 -33 156 0.041 $ 79,943,310.06
AUZ Australian Mines 11 -9 24 133 0.021 $ 87,151,984.70
CHN Chalice Mining 10 14 178 3042 4.87 $ 1,649,580,952.23
CNJ Conico 10 6 120 560 0.033 $ 29,122,756.67
MOH Moho Resources 10 13 -29 59 0.089 $ 8,966,015.72
VR8 Vanadium Resources 10 -2 61 275 0.045 $ 16,468,207.27
COB Cobalt Blue 8 8 306 370 0.39 $ 99,398,738.80
RLC Reedy Lagoon Corp. 8 -4 100 1200 0.026 $ 12,682,812.17
VUL Vulcan Energy 8 -6 612 3540 6.37 $ 694,219,093.76
SLZ Sultan Resources 8 0 -5 186 0.2 $ 13,559,205.86
ARL Ardea Resources 8 -4 14 173 0.545 $ 67,027,055.55
ARN Aldoro Resources 8 -22 100 159 0.21 $ 14,296,968.63
JRL Jindalee Resources 7 -1 288 418 1.63 $ 76,110,662.88
GLN Galan Lithium 7 17 225 215 0.52 $ 112,915,082.32
TMT Technology Metals 7 10 42 436 0.375 $ 56,115,521.25
QXR Qx Resources Limited 7 -11 7 14 0.016 $ 8,540,197.15
EMH European Metals Hldg 7 31 309 1285 1.8 $ 228,124,098.40
LIT Lithium Australia NL 6 -15 132 245 0.13 $ 116,699,627.33
TNG TNG Limited 6 9 8 118 0.105 $ 131,197,189.20
INF Infinity Lithium 6 -5 100 517 0.18 $ 76,470,098.57
ARR American Rare Earths 5 2 185 782 0.097 $ 33,129,715.95
TLG Talga Group 5 -10 80 567 1.37 $ 430,586,466.52
AQD Ausquest Limited 5 -16 -30 163 0.021 $ 16,573,986.43
NTU Northern Min 5 -14 27 62 0.042 $ 193,653,718.64
RFR Rafaella Resources 5 44 44 92 0.115 $ 14,069,612.81
LEG Legend Mining 4 4 -19 128 0.13 $ 344,391,965.13
REE Rarex Limited 4 13 83 900 0.13 $ 56,373,616.52
WKT Walkabout Resources 3 -9 -33 7 0.15 $ 50,624,378.53
GME GME Resources 3 8 32 25 0.066 $ 36,753,217.38
EUR European Lithium 3 8 17 75 0.07 $ 62,959,087.78
PSC Prospect Res 3 6 -3 94 0.175 $ 58,115,814.93
HWK Hawkstone Mng 3 -3 160 680 0.039 $ 65,377,065.60
ARU Arafura Resource 3 -15 153 277 0.2 $ 228,302,248.79
BSX Blackstone 2 -10 6 469 0.455 $ 153,611,129.30
FFX Firefinch 2 -8 48 330 0.23 $ 175,948,466.63
VML Vital Metals Limited 1 72 236 1133 0.074 $ 200,602,096.65
ORE Orocobre Limited 1 -5 73 136 4.83 $ 1,696,699,294.96
CXO Core Lithium 1 1 456 1071 0.22 $ 270,023,968.42
GXY Galaxy Resources 1 -8 56 209 2.42 $ 1,268,265,058.84
OZL OZ Minerals 1 8 58 267 22.89 $ 7,630,560,615.00
LYC Lynas Rare Earths 1 10 154 468 6.39 $ 5,640,751,904.54
AML Aeon Metals . 0 -5 -31 59 0.1 $ 67,756,972.70
AJM Altura Mining 0 0 0 133 0.07 $ 209,037,029.25
ATM Aneka Tambang 0 0 0 0 1 $ 1,303,649.00
ADV Ardiden 0 6 -37 850 0.019 $ 45,030,680.81
BSM Bass Metals 0 17 133 133 0.007 $ 28,151,730.15
BEM Blackearth Minerals 0 -3 241 509 0.14 $ 24,700,892.54
CZN Corazon 0 -4 10 42 0.055 $ 10,964,923.78
DEV Devex Resources 0 -4 -30 532 0.215 $ 62,183,844.80
ESS Essential Metals 0 -4 19 44 0.115 $ 24,098,076.00
ESR Estrella Res 0 -10 385 800 0.063 $ 59,025,833.17
GED Golden Deeps 0 -17 -41 11 0.01 $ 7,748,514.40
GBR Greatbould Resources 0 -3 -15 55 0.04 $ 9,402,988.52
HNR Hannans 0 7 14 167 0.008 $ 18,879,817.54
HXG Hexagon Energy 0 17 81 218 0.105 $ 30,120,532.70
INR Ioneer 0 -8 300 419 0.42 $ 805,980,702.78
LML Lincoln Minerals 0 0 0 167 0.008 $ 4,599,869.49
LPI Lithium Pwr Int 0 -4 23 80 0.27 $ 82,421,323.33
MAN Mandrake Res 0 77 104 1015 0.145 $ 48,051,376.24
POS Poseidon Nick 0 -15 11 131 0.06 $ 171,374,305.97
S2R S2 Resources 0 -3 -31 89 0.17 $ 51,957,044.54
CTM Centaurus Metals -1 -10 63 778 0.79 $ 260,276,846.77
MCR Mincor Resources NL -1 -3 6 97 0.995 $ 434,021,135.13
PLS Pilbara Min -2 -4 181 565 1.03 $ 3,085,193,848.08
CLQ Clean Teq Hldgs -2 -11 -16 104 0.255 $ 230,344,779.08
BOA Boadicea Resources -2 0 2 34 0.235 $ 14,604,250.31
SGQ St George Min -2 -9 -22 30 0.09 $ 44,815,360.46
IGO IGO Limited -2 -6 38 86 6.26 $ 4,816,223,290.68
CLA Celsius Resource -2 -2 34 617 0.043 $ 39,609,813.65
VMC Venus Metals Cor -3 -12 -26 42 0.185 $ 27,949,556.36
PAN Panoramic Resources -4 -10 30 15 0.13 $ 276,873,390.54
G88 Golden Mile Res -4 14 -28 67 0.05 $ 7,228,953.06
FGR First Graphene -4 -2 92 170 0.24 $ 128,531,919.12
STK Strickland Metals -4 -8 -61 140 0.024 $ 10,107,636.50
MLX Metals X Limited -4 5 185 317 0.225 $ 213,207,525.75
BUX Buxton Resources -4 3 -44 22 0.067 $ 9,115,713.94
BAR Barra Resources -5 -13 -5 110 0.021 $ 14,229,770.12
AGY Argosy Minerals -5 -13 69 233 0.1 $ 125,027,170.40
MNS Magnis Energy Tech -5 3 50 466 0.3 $ 259,877,864.83
MIN Mineral Resources. -5 1 49 191 38.13 $ 7,370,140,097.10
NMT Neometals -5 -4 103 217 0.375 $ 223,594,019.06
SYR Syrah Resources -5 -3 136 647 1.12 $ 577,346,435.04
TKL Traka Resources -6 -19 -19 328 0.017 $ 8,609,906.16
TON Triton Min -6 -9 -9 200 0.048 $ 55,588,935.28
HAS Hastings Tech Met -6 -20 60 244 0.19 $ 294,288,096.38
LTR Liontown Resources -6 13 131 562 0.45 $ 825,442,955.16
QPM Queensland Pacific -6 0 340 633 0.088 $ 87,697,072.05
MRC Mineral Commodities -6 -12 0 95 0.36 $ 182,496,628.40
NIC Nickel Mines Limited -7 2 90 300 1.33 $ 3,495,890,380.89
LKE Lake Resources -7 -8 442 1021 0.325 $ 339,879,687.39
BHP BHP Group Limited -7 -6 18 63 44.45 $ 132,268,727,590.60
GAL Galileo Mining -8 -33 -15 92 0.23 $ 33,628,783.18
AXE Archer Materials -8 22 88 474 0.975 $ 222,547,497.81
PNN PepinNini Minerals -12 -16 136 88 0.335 $ 13,520,301.93
BKT Black Rock Mining -14 -29 136 353 0.125 $ 89,503,285.50
ADD Adavale Resource -14 -31 23 105 0.043 $ 12,848,970.47
EGR Ecograf Limited -18 -6 320 1067 0.63 $ 307,113,834.83
CWX Carawine Resources -20 40 14 93 0.28 $ 30,489,172.56
MLS Metals Australia -33 0 -33 100 0.002 $ 8,381,807.15

You’re welcome.
 
BONUS ITEM: News just in – looks like Fintwit has caught the drift:

THEY DREW A DICK AND BALLS. Have a great weekend.