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Small caps movers: A sprinkle of stardust helps EVR Holdings to shine

A look back at some of the week's more interesting stories from the junior market...
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Adele's got a few quid to her name, so why not invest it into AIM stocks?

EVR Holdings PLC (LON:EVRH) hit the right note with shareholders this week, and the virtual reality-come-music start-up even got a helping hand from some star power.

Global singing superstar Adele has reportedly ploughed some of her estimated £125mln fortune into the company which owns MelodyVR, a beta-stage app that allows fans to watch their favourite artists through virtual reality headsets.

The size of her investment isn’t known and because she’s invested through a nominee account, her name won’t appear on the shareholder register.

 EVR got another boost later on in the week as well after MelodyVR secured five music licensing agreements with European rights holders.

The company already has deals with the big three record labels – Warner, Sony and Universal – which represent the artists and their music, but these latest agreements are with publishers and collection societies that look after the songwriter copyrights.

In short, it takes EVR one step closer to commercialising its app, excitement for which has been building since the company listed on AIM just over a year ago.

Shares added 20% over the past few days to change hands for 7.6p.

Elsewhere, it’s been a rollercoaster week for Telit Communications Plc (LON:TCM), although this particular ride had more downs than ups, as well as a big twist.

It all started on Monday when the share price plummeted following its half-year results, in which the industrial internet of things specialist said various delays had hit revenues – both those that were expected to arrive in the first half and those previously expected to turn up later in the year.

The decline was temporarily arrested by a bullish note from heavyweight US investment bank Morgan Stanley, which said Monday’s plunge was an overreaction.

But the bears were back on Thursday after the Telit board said chief executive Oozi Cats was taking a “leave of absence” amid reports in Italy – where he lives – that he’s been on the run from US law enforcement since the early ‘90s.

Telit has hired a law firm to investigate whether or not Oozi and his wife Ruth Cats are connected to the Uzi and Ruth Katz named in the Boston court papers from 1992.

It could all just be a horrible coincidence but the markets weren’t taking any chances with the shares shedding over half of their value over the week to 125p.

It’s been a little while since Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) last reported to the markets, but the copper explorer was back with a bang on Friday as it raised £6mln, with US investment giant JP Morgan Asset Management taking an 8.3% stake.

Chief executive Peter Bird said the backing from JP Morgan was “testament to the strength of [Asiamet’s] projects and team”.

The company raised the cash through the issue of 139.53mln shares at 4.3p each, which it will use to fund the completion of the definitive feasibility study at its flagship BKM copper project in Indonesia.

The money will also go towards drilling high priority targets close by to BKM, as well as on expansionary drilling at its Beutong porphyry project.

The placing price represented a discount of about 9% to Thursday’s closing price of 4.7p, something which would normally weigh on the shares a little bit.

That wasn’t the case this time around though, with the market saying ‘if it’s good enough for JP Morgan, it’s good enough for me’. Shares were up 13% across the week to 5p.

Graphene products supplier Directa Plus Plc (LON:DCTA) shares have been on a downward trajectory for a few months on little news flow, but an upbeat note from a City broker reminded the market that they’re still alive and kicking.

The share price added the best part of 90% this week to trade at 64.5p after Cantor Fitzgerald said the firm was “profoundly” undervalued.

“The current valuation implies Directa is far behind its peers, despite being the only company in the space with established commercial sales and a proven scalable manufacturing process,” Cantor’s William Game said.

Pleasingly for those that have backed the group since it listed on AIM back last summer, the share price is creeping back up towards the 75p it floated at after falling as low as 35p recently.

Overall, it’s not been a great week for global stocks, with the rising tension between North Korea and the US weighing heavily.

The AIM All Share index lost 0.7%, or 6.8 points, over the past five days to sit at 986.5 come Friday afternoon.

Unsurprisingly, its bigger brother, the FTSE 100, took a harder kicking with the blue chip index sinking 2.7% to hang just above the 7,300 mark.

Given that general performance, it’s obvious that there were some other shockers out there this week.

Tasty Plc (LON:TAST) – the owner of the Wildwood restaurant chain – left investors with a sour taste in their mouths after an in-depth trading update revealed that it expects to report a first-half profit of just £200,000, well below the £1.2mln it delivered in the same period of 2016.

The group had already lowered its forecasts back in March amid a “challenging trading environment” but its performance in the opening six months of 2017 had been below even those revised expectations.

As a result, Tasty, which also owns the Dim T chain, said that it would likely have to sell off certain assets and close loss-making restaurants in the second half to strengthen its cash resources.

Investors couldn’t stomach the weak performance, and the shares dived by 28% to 40p.


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