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Sub-Standard Shockers XI September update – bottom of the league form

By Cynical Bear | Tuesday 13 September 2016


Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


With the football season now in full flow, it is appropriate to assess the full squad’s performance to-date. Unsurprisingly, but still disappointingly, none of the squad is fit to even tie the shoelaces of Robbie Savage let alone play in the Premier League, but will the FCA do anything about it?

One would think that a squad of 17 players would be sufficient to get a strong team on the pitch week in, week out but that would be forgetting that there will always be a number of these players in suspension at one any one time.

The “Suspenders”:

Worthington (WRN) – suspended since Oct 2014 pending……its ultimate demise at some point.

CIC Gold (CICG) – suspended since November 2015 pending the RTO of Gobi Minerals. Hmmm.

Silver Falcon (SILF) – suspended since December 2015 pending the RTO of Fintech business, Lime. Wonder whether it will be as suceessful as the ecent "Fintech" RTO of BOS Global (BOS) by Forte Energy??

Senterra Energy (SEN) – suspended since May 2016 pending the RTO of SIM card manufacturer, Oasis (I know, I know, it doesn’t sound much like an energy acquisition!)

Falcon Acquisitions (FAL) – suspended since June 2016 pending the RTO of a connected business in the OTT space, Quiptel. It was, however, good enough to release its interims yesterday though to show that it is making cracking progress nevertheless in spending the £4 million or so raised with cash now below £3 million already.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) - suspended since September 2016 pending the RTO of a reincarnation of a previous Standard List failure, Myclubbetting.com.

So one can see that one only has eleven players to pick from each week but the bigger issue is that the vast majority of the team that actually do play have less movement than Jan Molby after a “relaxing” summer break and I call them:

The Zombies

Opera Investments (OPRA) – after two failed efforts at an RTO, it is yet to have a third attempt and it meanders on with shares drifting lower, now at 4.375p.

Vertu Capital (VCBC) – the first of the Malaysian connected companies. Listed in January 2015 and although it actually announced an acquisition in April 2016 (subject to diligence) there has been no news since. Lobster pot.

Upland Resources (UPL) – joined the market on October 2015 to target the oil and gas sector. Limited news since.

Levrett (LVRT) – listed in December 2015 to do deals in biotech. No news since. Lobster pot.

DaVictus (DVT) – the second of the Malaysian connected companies. Listed in January 2016 and no news since. Lobster pot.

RockRose Energy (RRE) – listed in January 2016 to undertake acquisitions in the energy sector. No news since. Lobster pot.

Vale International Group (VIG) – the newest member as only joined the Standard List last week but it will be a lobster pot.

Shocking stuff which leaves me just with four squad members remaining and although they appear to move around the pitch with varying degrees of agility, I still label them:

The Disappointments

Toople (Toop) – could easily be in the category above but I’m feeling generous. David Breith’s new business in the mobile space. Listed in May 2016 at 8p. Limited news since and share price drifting downwards to 6.75p.

Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) – again I’m being generous as, although Mark Gustafson talks a good game, the business hasn’t actually done anything other than raise funds since coming back from suspension in December 2015. Share price eroding slowly, now down around 18.5p

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) – clearly some business going on here; unfortunately, some of it relates to the one place in the world one currently doesn’t want a gold mine, namely the Philippines. Share price drifting down from a 4p IPO price to 2.25p today

Highland Natural Resources (HNR) – that just leaves arguably my most interesting player, the one you can’t keep your eyes off. Well down on its highs above 70p but the question remains here as to whether it is anything other than a clever piece of ramping by its founders. Results for its core proposition, DT Ultravert due soon, so should become clearer.

So there we have it – a disgraceful performance!

To be clear, I am not cherry-picking the poorest performers on the Standard Segment of the Official List here, it is almost all of the recent joiners.

It is giving the Main Market a bad name and it is suckering in ordinary unsophisticated investors who believe that it will be actually a better investment due to it not being on AIM.

The reality is the opposite.

The Standard Segment companies makes an investment in a business on ISDX look appealing. Something must be done about this to stop the Standard List becoming the default home for truly appalling companies and subscale investment companies seeking a public listing.

Will the FCA / UKLA do anything about it?

I doubt it but would urge all readers to avoid a Sub-Standard Shocker at all costs and self-regulation should do the trick instead.


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