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By Nigel Somerville, the Deputy Sheriff of AIM | Monday 21 May 2018
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.
Amazingly, the cash shell that is Standard Listed AIQ (AIQ) – with somewhere around 8-10p per share of cash and nothing else – has again returned from suspension this morning. The shares, having peaked (ahead of the last suspension) at 150p to buy are now in free fall, sitting on a spread (last seen) of 80p (to sell) to 130p (to buy). I have no hesitation in recommending a sell – there is, after all, only 8-10p of value here. What does surprise me is that there has been no official comment whatsoever from the company – or, indeed, anyone else.
Why did the directors issue a know-of-no-reason RNS in relation to the sky-rocketing share price and a few hours later the LSE suspended the shares (for a second time) due to a disorderly market? Surely, in the light of that, there will have to be board changes – one simply cannot believe a word from this board after that.
Why has the company not seen fit to make a statement about the second suspension, even upon its lifting?
Indeed, how on earth did the UKLA accept that the original disorderly market had been corrected and allow AIQ back for more disorder? It is plain that the first disorderly market had not been addressed at all. Will we get a statement from the UKLA about that? Will the market be told what actually went wrong, and what might (or might not) be different this time? What do you think?
Has anyone been sanctioned? Has anyone had a “quiet word” with someone over this sorry, sordid affair? What certainty can anyone have that all is well now?
The whole thing stinks.
And then, of course, there is the deficient listing document which missed out a couple of directorships, the first disorderly market – caused by the IPO shares being issued on paper after the listing (meaning that there were no shares available in the market) and some mightily suspicious findings from Google (see HERE) which I accept was corrected after the fact, and I accept that it was someone else’s error but it still leaves a bad taste in the mouth. For starters, why were the Google links not taken down ahead of the IPO? And why were they taken down almost immediately after they were published on this website?
It remains to be seen what happens next, but given that the company listed back on January 9th this year and has managed just five and a half days out of suspension since then, who wouldn’t bet on another suspension?
No doubt the prime movers of this outfit will be shown to be utterly fine chaps. But the fiasco thus far has been so complete that AIQ certainly goes on my bargepole list. Anyone holding here and not selling, in my view, needs their heads examining.
As for the London Stock Exchange, this utter fiasco shows that the Standard List as a whole is, quite simply, totally uninvestable. The whole financial services industry relies upon trust. Can there be any here?
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