CLOSING BELL: Adani and The Crown go head-to-head to see who can lose the most face in one day
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The ASX has had yet another post-lunch energy leak, shedding the majority of the value it had struggled to build and hold throughout the morning session to end the day up a miserly 0.2%.
It would be easy – and probably reductive – to lay the blame for that at the feet of the Materials (-0.40%) and Utilities (-0.48%) sectors… so I will. It’s 100% their fault, because the rest of the sectors are pretty much precisely where they were the last time I looked at ‘em, just after lunch.
The market leader for the day was a very strong showing from InfoTech, up a whisker over 3.0% by the time the bells were a-clangin’ to mark the end of business, with Consumer Discretionary (+1.31%) and the Telcos (+1.03%) playing on strong in support.
Around the region, Japan’s Nikkei mirrored our own market’s effort, adding 0.23%, Shanghai did a little better again on +0.29% and the Hang Seng has climbed +0.41% because it’s one of those super-annoying overachievers that nobody really likes.
In actual “money” news, the decision to leave Australia’s newest King off the redesigned $5 note is causing an unsurprising, yet still depressingly large outbreak of National Indigestion, because we – as a nation – clearly have too much time on our hands.
The Reserve Bank of Australia said that after discussions with the current federal government, and in light of the older-style $5 note bearing the likeness of the recently-departed Queen Elizabeth II, it was time for the Thin Lizzie to get an overhaul.
“The Reserve Bank has decided to update the $5 banknote to feature a new design that honours the culture and history of the First Australians,” the RBA said in a statement, adding: “This new design will replace the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The other side of the $5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian Parliament.”
Needless to say, some folks are thrilled that Australia’s first nations people will see representation on the new fiver – but others believe that King Charles III should have his mug on the note instead.
Among the loudest voices complaining today has been opposition leader Peter Dutton, who told a Sydney radio station: “There is no question about this, that it’s directed by the government. I think it is another attack on our systems, our society and institutions.”
The opposition leader has possibly painted himself into a bit of a corner with the statement, as he’s got nowhere to go linguistically when there’s an actual attack on “our society”.
Additionally, precisely why the RBA didn’t give the picture of Parliament House the arse instead of His Royal Majestic Jug Ears is the “million dollar question” – one that I would be happy to provide a suitably snarky answer to in exchange for 200,000 of those fresh new fivers when they’re ready.
And super-quick, the scalp we all knew was coming has arrived, after Adani’s $US2.5 billion cake stall fell apart in the wake of short-selling anarchists (they’re not – it’s just fun to say) Hindenburg’s electrifying allegations of planet-sized fraud from the Indian conglomerate.
Adani Enterprises has decided not to go ahead with the fully subscribed FPO.
— Adani Group (@AdaniOnline) February 1, 2023
That’s about as succinct as unconditional surrenders get in the business world, although there’s precisely zero doubt Adani will continue to fight the allegations, albeit with a massively reduced war chest at its disposal.
Seven publicly listed Adani companies have been publicly pantsed to the tune of $US86 billion in the week since the allegations were first aired, and Guatam Adani himself has seen a gut-wrenching plunge in his own personal wealth as well, and is down to his last US$75 billion, the poor wee scamp.
Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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The details may be slightly different, but the landscape hasn’t changed all that much since lunch time among the Small Caps.
The day’s standout performer is Spacetalk (ASX:SPA), which has soared 98.89% on news that the company has appointed Simon Crowther to the role of CEO and managing director, effective 6 February 2023.
Crowther got the nod following “an extensive global search”, the company says, with the new CEO’s track record from his time at Nearmap weighing heavily in his favour.
Crowther will take over from interim boss Saurabh Jain, who will in turn stay on as a director of the company.
Nothing much has changed in the bid, other than Quantum extending the deadline (again), and Lincoln’s board has pointed out that the offer on the table is basically a textbook lowball – any lower, in fact, and it’d need a jungle-strength support jock to prevent unsightly gravel rash.
“The Offer Price under QGL’s takeover bid remains unchanged, being 40 QGL shares for every 1 LML share,” Lincoln says, staying remarkably straight-faced. “As at close of trading on 30 January, the implied value of LML shares under the Offer was $0.013 per share which remains well below LML’s closing price of $0.06 per share (based on the closing prices of Lincoln and QGL shares on ASX as at 30 January 2023).”
That 30 January $0.06 per share value marks an astonishing 750% increase since Lincoln’s reinstatement onto the ASX ten days earlier – so it’s little wonder QGL’s $0.013 isn’t blowing too many skirts up at Lincoln HQ, where the company closed out the day trading at $0.049 a packet, up 16.67% over yesterday.
Here are the least best performing ASX small cap stocks:
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A quick look at what’s in the news that we haven’t talked about elsewhere shows that Saunders International (ASX:SND) has inked a major new contracts in the oil, water and new energy sectors totalling approximately $18 million.
Saunders says the contracts include design and construction of a 2-megalitre column supported tank for Fulton Hogan in the Victorian water sector, design and construction of two diesel and two water tanks for a new UGL energy project in NSW, and mechanical modifications, supply and installation of two aluminium geodesic dome roofs at BP’s Bulwer Island fuel terminal in Queensland.
“Saunders continues to build on its strong track record of delivering bulk liquid storage solutions for existing and new customers,” Saunders’ managing director and CEO, Mark Benson said.
“These project wins are especially pleasing as they will be delivered across the water, new energy and oil & gas sectors, and will enable the Group to utilise its established plant and equipment, and experienced workforce on the East coast”.
Meanwhile, NeuroScientific Biopharmaceuticals (ASX:NSB) – try saying that round a mouthful of afternoon tea and biscuits – has announced the receipt of a very handy chunk of change from the Australian federal government in the form of an R&D Tax Incentive refund of approximately $3,774,137.
That is, I must say, an oddly-specific “approximate” number, but anyway… NSB says the cash will be “reinvested into the preclinical and clinical R&D programs currently being undertaken to support the commercialisation of NeuroScientific’s lead drug candidate EmtinB”.
And lastly, New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) would like everyone to note a clarification to its Mt Lyell Copper Mine Prefeasibility Study, released on 23 January this year.
That PFS release states that the economic profile demonstrated by the PFS includes “a pre-tax NPV7 of A$560 million, IRR of 22% and Life of Mine net cash flow of A$1,081 million.”
NCZ says the company confirms that all references in the PFS release to Life of Mine net cash flow (or Project cashflow) of A$1,081 million are on a post-tax basis, and clarifies that the pre-tax Life of Mine net cash flow (or Project cashflow) is A$1,580 million, while the IRR of 22% is on a pre-tax basis.
I do hope you were paying attention, as I’m strongly considering issuing a pop-quiz should time and prevailing weather conditions permit this afternoon.
DroneShield (ASX:DRO) – Capital raising.
C29 Metals (ASX:C29) – Halt requested pending the release of an announcement relating to drilling results at Pocitos 7.
WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) – Halt requested pending the release of an announcement to the market in relation to material exploration results.
Manhattan Corp (ASX:MHC) – Halt requested pending an announcement in relation to a material transaction and associated capital raising.
Jameson Resources (ASX:JAL) – Halt requested ahead of an announcement in relation to the Tranche 2 Placement announced in Nov 2022.
88 Energy (ASX:88E) – Capital raising.
Lode Resources (ASX:LDR) – Capital raising.
Anteris Technologies (ASX:AVR) – Capital raising.