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The Saviour

The ongoing death of the small cap market / AIM continued this week, at least in terms of the debate of what should be done to reverse the alleged decline of the past three decades. One of the answers is to reverse all the red tape / bureaucracy, regulation and tax heaped on the stock market in that time. The second is to stop talking it down. The third point may be that rather than bemoaning how badly the London market is doing, work out why other markets are doing so well. Indeed, it may actually be that things here are trundling along as they always have, but that the likes of the S&P are on fire because folks over there appreciate things like AI. Nevertheless, it does appear that things are coming to a head, when someone who has been trashing small caps and their investors for over 20 years, enters the debate as a saviour.

Green Shoots

On the stocks front there have been green shoots, something which reminds us that it tends to be a stock market bottom when those who are bedwetting do it to the greatest extent. For instance, the end of the week saw First Class Metals (FCM) rebound 10%, a situation where the divergence between the newsflow and the share price has been very noticeable. It would appear that whoever was bedwetting there may finally be out. Another relatively new listing on the stock market, Fulcrum Metals (FMET) managed to deliver another weekly close above its 200 day moving average – a decent bullish signal. The bulls here will be hoping that the company’s news at the end of last month when it said of its news, “The letter of intent clearly demonstrates the underlying value Fulcrum has in its uranium portfolio and validates the company’s strategy and management’s approach so far.” Having uranium in the portfolio has been one of the fires lighting up the Power Metal (POW) share price of late, and one would assume that some of the pixie dust from that situation will soon be transferred to FMET.

British ISA

One of the factors that the London market needs to get it on a par with the USA markets is sizzle. A British ISA may be great as mentioned by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt this week, but even if there was an infinite annual allowance (which their should be), and no 0.5% stamp duty (which is laughable and always has been), we really need the big stories. We know how poor mainstream journalists writing on the stock market, largely because they have no interest in it. They also hate people making money, and know how bad news sells. It is common knowledge that it is almost impossible for a small cap company to get into the newspapers in this country. They only get in after they have already made the grade, something which is useless in terms of attracting new shareholders / investment. This media closed shop is a running sore in terms of the prospects for the minnows.


However, we did get a taste of the kind of story the London stock market really needs, the Sondrel (SND) / Neuralink connection. This story is almost as good as former Tesla directors landing at DG Innovate (DGI), or former Amyrt bosses going to Poolbeg (POLB). But at least the Neuralink story doubled the SND share price, and a statement re the share price movement was the result. This pouring cold water RNS which companies have to put out (the Nomad), is one of the worst aspects of the London market: a company can spend years with its shares in the doldrums, then one day there is good news, the stock goes up, and it has to “warn” the market. No wonder the London market cannot get momentum.


Artemis (ARV), where I seem to be the only person who ever covers the stock regularly, was a major highlight this week, as its shares soared ahead of lab results. I am not going to both looking back at my recent charting calls on the stock. But it can see from the trendlines on the daily chart that Friday saw the stock hit the top of the falling September trend channel at 1.55p.


Filtronic (FTC) is another company where I am apparently flying the flag on my own, largely because historically the shares have been slow to move. No there appear to be galloping like a Grand National winner. The stock was up 58% on the week, breaking the previous 35p, and looking to get through to the “final” 45p target by the end of this month. FTC reminds me that there is hardly anyone else out there tying the fundamental news out there (in this case massive contract win news), with viable technical targets.

Eco Buildings

While I have tried to narrow down the technical / charting signals to as few as half a dozen over the years. There are some reliable fundamental triggers as well. We were reminded of one of them a couple of weeks ago, with the aforementioned Power Metals, which rallied as much as 25% from its placing price. We have also seen a decent performance this week from Eco Buildings (ECOB), which had a well participated director / existing shareholders fundraise of £827,000. The placing price was 12p, actually a premium on the overnight 11.5p, versus the close on Friday of 13p. When you look at the chart you see the shares have delivered a bear trap gap reversal, one of the more reliable charting signals as well. It will be interesting to see whether ECOB, with its new funding, can now bring in the revenues from its rather large €114m. One would venture to suggest that nothing can stop the company now.

United Oil & Gas

One of the more painful situations amongst small caps in recent years has been United Oil & Gas (UOG), not necessarily any direct fault of the company, but as much perhaps the lay of the land in terms of being in the resources space and trying to get scale. An issue that very often arises in such situations is that there can be a lot of false dawns, and then the share price resumes its falling knife price action. We are hoping that this week’s rally, off the back of no RNS, but in the wake of the Jamaica license extension at the end of January mark the start of a long awaited recovery for the share price.

Bens Creek

I normally look on the bright side in the Week In Small Caps, apart from an initial rant about economic policy / the state of the stock market at the beginning. But this week there are a few of the share price losers in the mix. The first is Bens Creek (BENS) where the CEO Adam Wilson left as the company announced funding issues. This was and is a shame given that BEN was one of the best IPOs of its time, and the potential was so great. Great enough to make the company a 10x at one stage. I met Adam Wilson a few times, and it was a shame he did not engage / explain BEN, as one would expect any CEO meeting someone who loves small caps, loves writing about them, and might help the cause.


Given how tough it is for biotechs on the London market, just about the last thing we need to hear is of any bumps in the road for stocks in this space. This makes it all the more frustrating that Evgen (EVG) a clinical stage drug development company on Friday issued a notice of dispute with Stalicla SA  its partner in autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Of course, if there is a dispute there is a dispute. Nevertheless, the golden rule for small cap public companies is that if you have a dispute it is usually better to settle it in private. The result so far is that EVG shares were down 28% on the week.


Presumably keeping any disputes it has with anyone this week was Roquefort Therapeutics (ROQ). Here we were treated to an operations update. Of particular interest was an update on its pre-clinical drug development programs, Randox licencing agreement and out-licencing discussions. The company said MK cells are a new class of cellular medicine and add to the Midkine programs and the siRNA program to create a portfolio of five first-in-class medicines. What this means is that if the company gets all of this over the line, it really could be world class. Alas, this is another example of a company with great potential not getting its message out sufficiently.

EDX Medical

Although I have interviewed Professor Sir Chris Evans, and the shares have more than doubled on the initial charting call near 5p, one feels that the company could do even better than it has. As well as being one of the best current performers on Aquis, no mean feathe company which develops digital diagnostic products for cancer, heart disease and infectious diseases, raised £4.01million at 12p. The benefit of this is that the amount of cash should easily be enough of a bridge to take it to delivering serious revenues, given that diagnostics is at the cutting edge of healthcare.



Speaking of stock market rules, one of the best of them is that the term “Strategic Review” in a RNS does not normally end in changes that turn a company from a minnow into a FTSE 100 company. We were reminded of this as in-game advertising company Bidstack (BIDS) warned it was in a cash crunch despite settling with partner Azerion. BIDS effectively gave its large cohort of bears what they have been baying for with a resultant share price collapse of 59% in recent days.

Helium One

Finally, it would be churlish not to include Helium One (HE1) in the weekly review, given that the company is currently giving us a masterclass in how management should handle the small cap market under CEO Lorna Blaise. First we had the fundraise ahead of drilling in September – so it was always going to be a win-win for the company helium or now helium. Then we had the massively discounted 0.25p raise, when 9 / 10 CEOs would have thrown in the towel / been too scared to ask. Then finally we have had the 1.5p relief rally raise, a thank you to those who stepped up to the plate at 0.25p. I did not a siren (but knowledgeable) voice on X saying that the last raise was effectively a raise too far, and undermined the credibility of HE1 management. Au contraire, who dares, wins. Plus the stock market is supposed to be an ATM for listed companies to help them grow…