Pandemic plays yield the spotlight to crypto, cannabis and oil exploration plays in 2021


A quarter of the way through 2021 and it looks like the pandemic boost enjoyed by many companies has dissipated.

The top 12 performers – the dynamic dozen, if you will – in London this year do not feature any companies that for one reason or another (e.g. coronavirus testing, lockdown workarounds) have done well out of the pandemic.

The Dynamic Dozen does, however, feature representatives of two (or three, if you want to be picky) sectors that look set to dominate investment themes this year: cryptocurrency/blockchain and medicinal cannabis.

GSTechnologies Ltd (LON:GST), up a mind-boggling 1,280%, currently leads the field, racking up the sort of gain that its forerunner, Golden Saint Resources, could only dream of.

The catalyst was the appointment of Jack Bai and Shayne Tan as executive directors at the end of January.

Bai is a successful technology entrepreneur, who has successfully built and exited multiple companies, including in fintech and payment solutions. He leads the development of the Coalculus blockchain technology, which enables enterprise-ready blockchain-as-a-service to financial institutions and enterprises.

Tan is the chief marketing officer for the Coalculus blockchain platform, which he co-founded with Bai.

The information and communication technology infrastructure solutions provider updated the market a month ago on its corporate strategy, which is to focus on the new higher growth synergistic business areas focussed on blockchain technology, particularly those applicable in the banking and wider financial services sector.

Short of establishing UK and Singaporean subsidiaries, the company has not actually done much publically since the high-profile board appointments but presumably, wheels are turning furiously behind the scenes.

Rubbing shoulders with the blockchain and cannabis plays are a number of oil exploration companies, headed by 88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E).

As with GSTechnologies, expectation rather than achievement is largely responsible for the share price surge but at least in 88 Energy’s case it has put in some hard yards.

Earlier this week the company told investors that logging-whilst-drilling data indicated multiple potentially hydrocarbon-bearing zones in the Merlin-1 well in Alaska.

The initial data confirmed the presence of the Nanushuk formation, which contains the company’s primary exploration targets.

Additionally, it reported that oil shows were recorded over multiple intervals in the Nanushuk.

Shareholders wait with breath abated for the results of the wireline process, currently underway, that should provide further data insights and detail to define the intervals.

Proactive’s Dynamic Dozen

Best performers in 2021
Ticker Name %chg in 2021 Cause
GST GSTechnologies Ltd 1280 Blockchain specialist Jack Bai acquires stake
CLP Clear Leisure PLC 730 Progress in legal skirmishes
88E 88 Energy Ltd 661 Excitement over the Merlin-1 well in Alaska
ARB Argo Blockchain PLC 620 Cryptocurrency play
OEX Oilex Ltd 400 Resolution of the Cambay production sharing contract dispute
KNB Kanabo Group PLC 371 Medicinal cannabis play
FAR Ferro-Alloys Resources Ltd 303 Strategic investment by former Xstrata CEO
OHG One Heritage Group PLC 296 Speculative buying in January mystified the directors
XTR Xtract Resources PLC 277 Bushranger drilling programme success
FUM Futura Medical PLC 230 Regulatory progress in the EU and US for its erectile dysfunction gel
PRD Predator Oil & Gas Holdings PLC 229 Renewed commitment by the Irish Government to honour existing licences issued by the State for oil and gas.



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