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Small cap movers: NetScientific the week’s top riser even after tapping the market

NetScientific PLC (LON:NSCI) was the best performing small-cap stock last week, rising 75% to 131.5p even after tapping the market for funds.

It is little more than two years since the company, which invests in life sciences companies, put itself up for sale and found no buyers; the plan back in 2019 was to take the company private but shareholders who rejected the deal back when the shares were bumbling along around the 30p level have been proved right.

This week’s rise was sparked by news from its portfolio company, PDS Biotechnology (NASDAQ:PDSB), where a Phase 2 trial for an immunotherapy treatment for HPV cancer has indicated tumour regression.

The company took advantage of share price strength to raise £7.7mln – £700,000 more than originally envisaged – by placing shares at 130p each.

The funds will enable NetScientific to accelerate its plans for the business and pursue attractive trans-Atlantic opportunities in the healthcare and sustainability sectors in a post-COVID environment.

“We call it building a transatlantic bridge. A specific pillar of our growth plans is enabling our UK companies to land in the US but equally, our US portfolio companies are keen to land in the UK and build relationships,” chief executive officer Dr Ilian Iliev told Proactive.

Another investment company going well was Asimilar Group PLC (LON:ASLR), which was up 23% at 160.5p on the back of news from one of its portfolio companies, Dev Clever Holdings PLC (LON:DEV).

Dev Clever, a developer of online career guidance and development platforms and consumer engagement experiences, said it is making encouraging progress in India.

Somewhat strangely, the Dev Clever share price, though it rose 13% this week, underperformed the Asimilar share price.

Sigma Capital Group PLC (LON:SGM) shot up 35% on Friday to 201p after the board recommended a 202.1p per share offer.

The recommended bid is from a subsidiary of investment funds managed by PineBridge Benson Elliot.

The acquisition values the provider of build-to-rent housing at about £188.4mln.

Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD) climbed 28% to 0.295p after an update from its Bougouni lithium project in southern Mali.

Kodal has received formal correspondence from the Direction Nationale de la Geologie et des Mines in Bamako providing notification of acceptance of the feasibility study for the mining licence application for Bougoini.

Kodal has received the request to pay the £135,000 application fee for the delivery of the mining licence and Kodal intends to pay this pronto so it can crack on with the application process.

IQ-AI Ltd (LON:IQAI) climbed 14% to just under 9p after its synthetic T1+C (Gad-Free) software application was awarded a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The technology eliminates the need to intravenously inject contrast agent during medical imaging procedures, the company said, adding that the patent underscores the potential of artificial intelligence (AI), its ability to streamline workflows, enhance diagnostic quality, and improve patient safety.

The share price of Gulf Marine Services PLC (LON:GMS) halved after it revealed plans to raise £20mln through a placing of shares and open offer at 3p.

“The fundraise announced today represents a further stepping stone in the resetting of the GMS story,” said Mansour Al Alami, the executive chairman of GMS.

Shareholders will be hoping it is a case of one step back, two steps forward.

Kropz PLC (LON:KRPZ) shares came a cropper this week, tumbling 21% after the African producer of plant nutrient feed minerals said it would not be able to publish its audited results in respect of 2020 ahead of the annual general meeting on June 30.

A delay in the publication of result always seems to make the market nervous.

Also likely to be feeling a bit nervous are shareholders in Umuthi Healthcare Solutions PLC (LON:UHS), the technology-led healthcare business that listed at the beginning of March.

Trading in the shares was suspended after the Financial Conduct Authority raised concerns regarding some shareholders who were involved in a share exchange agreement before the company’s Admission to trading, not being able to trade all of their shares. This was due, in some instances, to share trading accounts not having been fully activated, Umuthi explained.

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