18th Aug Flash Short – Update Week 4


21 March 2018

Monday 11th Sept 2017

Following on from an artificially low SP reported at the end of last week – the SP appeared to recover quickly following significant early buying on on monday morning. The sell of 200K at 9:34am, though not reported until the end of the day, had little impact on the overall nett balance of trades which again favoured Buys over sells by almost 300K by the end of the day.

The SP ended at 10.0p, up 3.8% on a volume of 1.4M (848K Buys vs 553K Sells)

Tuesday 12th Sept 2017

AGM day was generally quiet – with only quite small trades before noon. Trade sizes picked up in the afternoon, with a 200K buy reported at 1:39pm followed by a 50K Buy, a 100K Sell and then a 150K Buy. Although the trading was quiet the LSE BB was not as a number of old and unwelcome faces appeared around lunchtime.

The SP ended at 10.0p, flat on the day on a volume of 0.8M (566K Buys vs 246K Sells)

Wednesday 13th Sept 2017

Another quiet day until 10:48am when a 236K Buy was followed quickly by a couple of 200K Sells – this was not another attempted short but simply a LTH choosing to not close (i.e sell back) some T20 Buys that they had previously made. Whilst this led the Ask to drop it had relatively little impact on trading. The afternoon was punctuated solely with two Bed&ISA combined trades – the first at 1:20pm and the second at 3:30pm – both happening at the Bid price, but of course neither making any significant difference to the nett trading position. The following day, thursday a 375K Buy was reported at 4:28pm – pushing the nett trades for the day into positive territory +181K more Buys than Sells.

The trolling on the LSE board, however, continued fairly aggressively before lunch, until a number of complaints by LSE posters appeared to stop the most aggressive troll, Bolgas, in his tracks.

The SP ended at 9.88p, down 1.2% on the day on a volume of 1.6M (907K Buys vs 726K Sells).

Thursday 14th Sept 2017

The above plot should make it clear that there is no reason why there should have been a drop in Bid and Ask around 9am – all the trades before 9.:30am lie above the accumulation-distribution line – they are all Buys. Either a Sell of some 500K+ is yet to be reported or the Market Makers have decided to drop the SP entirely arbitrarily. I think the latter is unlikely as to do so would encourage even more Buying that we can see and would leave the Market Makers short of even more shares.

The nett trading position rose to more than +825K towards the end of the day but then there is a flurry of trading, prompted by what appeared to be some very tight spreads or even MM confusion around 3:40pm when, as observed by the LSE posters, the price to Buy appeared for short periods to be less than the price offered on Sells. This explains the jump up in the accumulation distribution line at this point – effectively allocating some 300K+ trades as Sells – of course if these were all actually Buys then the nett trade position at 4pm would have been in excess of +1M. Yet despite the rapidity of trading before 4pm there was not a single trade between then and the end of trading at 4:30pm – very strange !

There was very little trolling on Thursday on the LSE BB, possibly caused by the suspension of Bolgas.

The SP ended at 9.63p, down 2.5% on the day on a volume of 1.4M (1.03MK Buys vs 397K Sells). Further delayed trades expected.

Friday  15th Sept 2017

The behaviour on Friday is dominated by the reappearance of a sequence of 100K Sell trades in a steady procession between 8:19am and 8:40am – these progressively knocked the Bid down from 9.5p to 9.0p, with the Nett trading position reaching -0.5M at the bottom. Steady buying absorbed these sells and by 10am the Ask recovered and nett trade neutrality was almost restored. At this point Bolgas returned to active trolling duty on the LSE BB – coincidence ? – perhaps, see the conclusion.

The overall period of the 100K sells was quite similar to that experienced during the 18th August Flash Short – approximately 20 minutes from start to finish – but their regularity was much greater this time. The previous clear shorting attempt started relatively slowly but then trade size and rapidity increased towards the bottom of the flash short – this one was much more leisurely, almost pedestrian by comparison.

Further selling appears during the afternoon – and yet despite this the Bid moves up to 9.5p around 3pm – it then rapidly drops back – not just to 9.25p but all the way to 9.0p as if the Market Makers had detected further shorting activity. It would appear that there are trades yet to be reported for this period.

The SP ended at 9.38p, down 2.6% on the day on a volume of 2.6M (910K Buys vs 1.67 Sells). Further delayed trades expected.

Summary for Week 4

SP Change TBP estimated Buys – Sells Potential Shorting Activity Comments
Monday 11-9-17 +3.8% + 295,102
Tuesday 12-9-17 Flat + 320,275
Wednesday 13-9-17 – 1.2% + 180,990
Thursday 14-9-17  – 2.5%  + 627,973  >500K Sell Predicted, yet to be reported
Friday 15-9-17 – 2.6% – 662,188 5x100K Sell 9.20am Predicted, yet to be reported
Total -2.5% + 762K  Approx 1M Sells


The most obvious feature of week 4 is the secondary short attempted on Friday morning – is this from the same source that attempted the 18th August short or might this be an independent shorter – some sort of copycat ?

The behaviour of the Trolls, specifically Bolgas, I think gives the game away – we hear nothing from him before the 2nd September – at which point he first posts on the BMN board, finishing with the memorable “FWIW I’m not short, although I agree with all TW has written as factual information, for that reason I’d hold off investing here.”  He returned to the BMN board briefly on the 5th September, but with nothing more than one liners. The subsequent return on Tuesday last week was marked with much greater posting length and the implicit threat “Steer well clear and see what happens is my best guess.”  – so it would seem that the self-confessed shorter had plans in place after Tuesday’s AGM had revealed no major news.

Despite what appeared to be an unexpected temporary suspension for Bolgas on wednesday due to LSE action it appears that the rest of the Trolling history is consistent with him being associated with the Friday morning shorting attempt – I think that this is not in association with the original 18th August shorters, but purely as a copycat attempt, following on from his obvious interest in RedT Energy.

The delayed trade reports of some 2.5M Sells from week 3 do not appear to have materialised yet so the nett trade position of +3.6M more Buys than Sells remains. This adds to the +1.2M position of week 2 and -0.36M of Week 1 to make the Market Makers short of some 4.44M shares – shares they appear to have sold as Buys to PIs but have yet to find from Sellers.

Thus we now appear to have the original shorters short by perhaps 6.5M shares, the Market Makers short by more than 4M shares and the Bolgas-copycat-short of the 15th Sept of potentially some 0.5M shares. It would appear that many people will soon have to find shares to deliver to their Buyers – maybe the original shorters will be able to exercise some warrants, or maybe they will not, ditto the Market Makers – maybe they know that warrants will soon be available that they can call upon. However independent shorters such as Bolgas would be advised to steer well clear – to short BMN now would be simply presenting themselves as fodder for those further up the shorting food-chain.

Meanwhile Long-Term Holders stand by and occasionally look in on these games safe in the knowledge that Vametco is shipping over $12M of Nitrovan each month, 2/3rds of which is profit, and 2/3rds of which can be seen in independently verifiable US customs import logs.

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