18th Aug 2017 Flash Short – Context

Alfacomp

20 August 2017

There appears to have been an attempt to flash short Bushveld Minerals stock last Friday, the 18th of August.

You can skip straight to the detailed analysis here…

However if you wish to understand the context for this attempted flash short then the timeline for the key events in the run-up to this event are shown below:

These updates from the company were well received and supported by an interview with Fortune (16th Aug Core Finance Interview), coverage by Proactive Investors (15th Aug – Bushveld Minerals Shares Soar as plans come together, 15th Aug – Bushveld Minerals Pushes Ahead with Tin Float, 16th Aug – Bushveld Minerals Plans Vanadium Battery Plant to meet soaring Power Storage demand and the 17th Aug interview with Alastair Ford of Mining Capital). Also SP Angel updated their target price from 11.6p to 14p in outline first and then in detail followed by an audiocast with John Meyer.

All in all some good coverage which challenges the sometimes repeated claim that ‘Fortune does not do PR’ – still … people are entitled to their own opinion, if not their own facts.

The facts, however, were not something that troubled Mr Tom Winnifrith of the ShareProphets stock attack website as you can see from his subsequent postings there:

  • 16th Aug – Shareprophets ‘Article’ – Tom Winnifrith, “It has form, shoddy ramping with grossly misleading RNS from Bushveld – placing ahoy + Cheerleader photo: SELL”
  • 17th Aug – Ditto – Tom Winnifrith,  “I will make this simple enough that even Bushveld shareholders can understand it”
  • 18th Aug – Ditto – Tom Winnifrith, “Reader Comment of the day – Drunken Sailor unearths local issues for Bushveld”

I am not sure what the Cheerleader reference is but this may simply be some sort of quasi-pornographic clickbait designed to appeal to the, ahem, more mature male. Whatever, it’s probably less objectionable than the expletives that Mr Winnifrith used on Twitter after we drew his attention to the careful analysis undertaken on the Bushveld Perspective. I shall not burden you with the graphic details.

However I do know what the last posting referred to – it was the rather pathetic excuse for a demonstration by the extremist ‘Black First Land First’ group who a few weeks ago burnt a couple of tyres on the road near to the Vametco plant and then claimed that they had ‘Shut down the plant’. As Gambitxjs from the LSE Bulletin board has confirmed publicly: (LSE BB, 18th Aug 2017, 23:24)

“For the record I actually telephoned Bushveld on Friday 28th and was told the plant had not closed at all and that everything was running very smoothly :-)”

Very little happened in terms of price action following the multiple Shareprophets articles, until 3.10pm on Friday afternoon, the 18th, when it appears that there was an attempt to flash short the stock via concerted repeated selling of Bushveld Stock – as is most succinctly illustrated in the SP plot below:

The share trading after 3pm has been analysed in great detail in this separate article 18th Aug 2017 Flash Short – Analysis.

Whilst the share price was depressed by up to 12% for a few minutes – it appears that no significant Stop-Loss instructions were triggered and the shorting shares (and more !) that were sold into the market were rapidly purchased by PIs. It would therefore appear that the short remains open and the shorters will need to buy approximately 1.4Million shares to close the short – see the analysis for more detail.

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