It’s Wednesday. Hump day. And boy-oh-boy are some of us feeling well and truly humped as it draws to a close, so it’s time to pause, reflect and relax – as is tradition (because we’ve been doing this for a week, and so far only one person has emailed in to have a moan about it. Well done, Ian. I hope it was worth the effort.).

Anyway, if you’re reading this (then you’re clearly not Ian), and it’s time to kick off your Aquila footwear, throw on some Uggies and start drinking heavily in front of a fire, while we apply baby powder to your chafed parts and whisper sweet, nuggety nonsense in your ears.



A 72-year-old US man has had a two-week holiday to Saudi Arabia extended by about 16 years, after he was arrested and convicted of writing nasty, terrible things (we assume) about Saudi Arabia on social media.

The move has been widely condemned because A) Saad Ibrahim Almadi wasn’t even in the country when he made the Saudi government mad, and B) if Saudi Arabia was going to throw every person who’s mean about them on Twitter in jail, global oil prices would plummet because there’d be no one left on the outside to buy any.

In unrelated news, Iranian athlete Elnaz Rekabi has addressed accusations that she flouted that country’s strict modesty laws when she competed in the Asian Rock-Climbing Championships in South Korea without wearing a hijab, as is required by law.

Rekabi has since returned to Iran, where she has reportedly told that country’s officials her hijab “inadvertently came off”.

No word yet from Iranian officials as to whether they have accepted that explanation, quite probably because Iran remains in the grip of ongoing civil unrest over those very same modesty laws, alleged extrajudicial killings and a general ‘no bueno’ attitude to the ruling political party.

And in actually unrelated news, British MP Peter Dowd has called for the UK to adopt a four-day working week, with no loss of pay. The Member for Bootle (no, really…) was widely praised for his proposal, until people realised his initial proposal probably applied to MPs only.



In what is beginning to smell quite a bit like a cat that got let out of the bag a little early, Toys’R’Us ANZ (ASX:TOY) has gone from short-term market darling to the Time Out Corner today, to “assist the Company in managing its continuous disclosure obligations pending the release of an announcement regarding a potential new commercial agreement”, according to an ASX announcement this afternoon.

Recent activity around TOY has been puzzling to say the very least. A prolonged, sharp spike in price over the past week saw the company rise 195.2% (34.7% today alone), a weighty buy-in by Throney Technologies and some frantic correspondence with regulators today has had market-watchers scratching their heads quite a bit.

But the wording of the trading halt announcement this afternoon – “regarding a potential new commercial agreement” – does suggest that there’s been something in the works for a little while now, and that it might be a little past due for something to be mentioned to the broader market.

So, those of you hoping for an end to the mystery today will just have to wait a while longer, until TOY manages to figure out what – if anything at all – it needs to tell the rest of the class now that it looks a little bit like it might have been caught passing notes by the teacher.

Meanwhile, Opyl (ASX:OPL) has announced to the market that it’s been on the receiving end of some welcome largesse from the ATO, in the form of a mammoth (and oddly-specific) $570,077 research and development (R&D) tax incentive refund for its Opin digital clinical trial recruitment platform.

That’s on top of a roughly $37,000 marketing expenditure refund under the Commonwealth Export Development Marketing Grant program, with both incentives designed to help Aussie companies invent new things and then sell them overseas, where new things are also invented but clearly aren’t as cool as our new things.

And Whitebark (ASX:WBE) paused briefly today to announce that it has executed an agreement with PetroDIP to consider and evaluate strategic options for the Company’s Western Australian gas asset, Warro.

The Whitebark Board (Whiteboard) says that given a forecast rise in gas prices in Western Australia, it makes sense to consider a range of options for developing the non-core Warro asset for the benefit of shareholders.



You comfy? Good… because today’s got more HALTS! than a 12-hour shift guarding the Tower of London. It’s a terrible metaphor, but yeah… we went there.

Anatara Lifesciences (ASX:ANR) – Capital Raise

Bowen Coking Coal (ASX:BCB) – Capital Raise

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies (ASX:ROO) – Capital Raise

Novonix (ASX:NVX) – Announcement pending about a material funding arrangement

Odin Metals (ASX:ODM) – Capital Raise

Calix (ASX:CXL) – Capital Raise

Medibank Private (ASX:MPL) – Medibank’s juuuust about ready to make another announcement about a recent “cyber incident”.

Toys’R’Us ANZ (ASX:TOY) – things are on hold to assist the Company in managing its continuous disclosure obligations pending the release of an announcement regarding a potential new commercial agreement.