There was something of a build up to this week’s Autumn Statement. Indeed, I read that the powers that be were working cutting IHT on up to half. There was much more, but like IHT none of it appeared. One can only assume that it was decided that with the general election coming up in months, there is no need to offer the voter anything of substance. It is presumed no one will vote Labour in great numbers as taxes will be higher than whatever we have at the moment. The same goes for immigration (for those that think it is a negative). And of course, with Cameron back on board the next Conservative government will be much more competent than our socialist friends.
It was perhaps lucky for the UK stock market that we had liquidity dried up even more than usual, as the Americans tucked into their turkey. This meant we tracked sideways on the FTSE 100. It also meant we had more time to dwell on the tweaks to ISAs, making them a tad more attractive. But freezing the allowances for 2024/2025 undoes any benefit at a time when the stock market needs all the help it can get. One can say that all the calls for change fell on deaf ears. Those who are supposed to be lobbying for small caps have failed yet again.
Helium One (HE1) shares were on the back foot this week, despite the following comments from the CEO: “These results are very encouraging indeed and we are delighted to have completed the Tai-3 well safely and to have been able to acquire a full set of wireline logs and downhole samples. This is an excellent result for the company and a huge testament to the team’s performance, especially given the challenges we have faced along the way.” Perhaps a change of messenging style may be needed by the company? It was smart to raise cash before the (sort of) denouement regarding Tai-3.
It was pleasing to see get a fundraise away, especially in current stock market conditions. £8m should take the company a long way in Chile, and one would imagine at just 20p now, many would regard the stock as being in bargain basement territory. It is well below the IPO price at 30p, and lots of water and progress has passed under the bridge. Lithium remains a hot commodity, there will be a production deficit, and with its DLE pilot plant commissioned the company will be on the front foot in this race.
Some of the excitement in an otherwise quiet week came from Sudan focused petroleum industry play, where it clarified its crypto plans. This came after an interview earlier this month. Actually, it was really having to explain why its share price rocketed. Of course, according to current stock market rules there is no compulsion to explain why a company’s share price has gone down. This is presumably because in current conditions many companies would be having to release a RNS every other day. As I have stated before, while we have such Marxist style rules on the London market, it is never going to be up there with the Nasdaq or the NYSE.
i3 Energy is a company which I have appreciated for some years. This is both in terms of the company’s management, and the transition it made from being a minnow even as recently as the pandemic, to being a fully fledged producer. The market, being the market, it has not fully appreciated the fundamentals here, something which we were reminded of this week. Majid Shafiq, CEO and, Ryan Heath, President and Executive Director, both bought shares around the 10p level, as announced on Friday. It should be remembered that earlier this month the dividend paying group announced a Q3 production increase, and said it would meet guidance. Director buying is especially significant in current stock market conditions.