Features & Opinion

A Time to Take Profits
At the moment there is a lot of immediate past for investors to get their heads around. The part that concerns many, including me, is the big rise in the US stock market. No one can answer the key questions of how long the boom will last, and whether there will be a big bust or just a downturn. But experience tells me it is time for investors to have or to get a strategy for what is happening and what may happen. More


Renewable Energy and Environmentally Positive Investments on the ASX
This is an edited text of a talk given at Ethical Investment Week in Brisbane on 10 October, 2017. "Let's have a closer look at the renewable energy sector on the ASX. There are 56 companies which have some sort of clean energy angle to their business, including those for which it is not the main game." More
Cleantech Stocks Build Momentum
The global momentum behind renewables is unstoppable. Investors who want to look more deeply into how clean energy is growing, and growing its share of the global energy market, can find a wealth of information from some of the world's leading sources. More

Novel Aquaculture Feedstocks Address Protein Issue
The good news for aquaculture investors is that Australia is one of only a few developed countries that is perfectly suited for aquaculture, and novel alternatives using bacteria and insects have begun to appear to replace contentious animal proteins in fish food, said a visiting global aquaculture expert. More

Investing in Solar is Becoming Easier
Although the installation of residential solar energy systems has been strong around Australia for several years and the numbers of commercial solar projects and utility scale solar farms are now also growing, until now investors have not had access to these as the growth was not reflected on the ASX. While there is still a lack of exposure to the residential installation market, new options have emerged for commercial scale and utility scale projects. More

Cleaning China's Water
China has a lot of dirty water, says the chairman of Phoslock Water Solutions, Laurence Freedman. And there is a lot of pressure to clean it, said Zhang Zhigang, the general manager of Beijing BHZQ Environmental Engineering Technology Company (BHZQ). BHZQ is Phoslock's new Chinese partner in cleaning some of this water. More

Core Securities

Cleaner Eco Focus for Gale Pacific
Gale Pacific has come a long way in its plan to become a focused technical fabrics company as it has now sold most of its non-core businesses. In the process it has improved its environmental focus. More

More Light on Beacon Solar
So far Beacon Lighting has given little information on how its small growth business, Beacon Solar, is going. This year there is a tad more information. Beacon is near the end of a National Solar Project installing 4 MW of solar energy on the roofs of over 70 of its retail stores. More
Meridian Energy Looks for Growth Options
With the New Zealand electricity market experiencing flat demand over the past five years, utility company Meridian Energy is looking at a number of strategies to grow its sales. All of these focus on its commitment to being a sustainable business that generates only renewable energy, mostly hydro with some wind energy in both New Zealand and Australia. More
Pacific Energy Tracking Well
In May Pacific Energy's share price touched 76.5 cents, and in February it touched 77 cents - only half a cent off its all time high. The point however is that the all time high was in November 1999, nearly 18 years ago. Since 2016 the share price has more than doubled from 35 cents. More

Australia Contributes to Metro Glass Profit
Australian Glass Group, which New Zealand's Metro Performance Glass acquired last September, has contributed to Metro Glass' strong revenue growth and net profit. For the year to 31 March, Metro Glass' revenue grew by 30 per cent to NS$244.3 million, while its New Zealand based revenue grew 14 per cent to NZ$213.8 million. More
Qube Starts Work on Rail Precinct
Qube Holdings has officially commenced construction of its Moorebank Logistics Park, which will be the largest intermodal logistics precinct in Australia. It has also commenced an underwritten $350 million equity raising to help fund the new warehousing and growth expenditure. More

MD and Short Seller Action at Quintis
Drama unfolded at newly rebranded Quintis with the founder and managing director Frank Wilson resigning to join a possible takeover consortium only days after TFS Corporation changed its name to Quintis and a short seller hit the stock and drove the price to a three year low of 97.5 cents. More

Blackmores on Four Corners
Vitamin and mineral companies Swisse and to a lesser extent Blackmores were part of an ABC Four Corners program that was critical of complementary medicines. Although the sales of supplements are strong and growing both in Australia and overseas, the program cast doubt on the level of health benefits, if any, of many of the products. More

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Pre-Dividend Securities
Record High for Orocobre
Orocobre's shares reached an all time high of $7.44 in late January, having been only $2.60 last March. The run is well deserved given the time, capital and work it has taken for the company to begin lithium production at its salars in Argentina. What the share price will do now is another matter. More
Large Solar Energy IPO
Investors who want to back solar energy projects and project owners have another option with the IPO of New Energy Solar Ltd. The company listed on 4 December after raising $202 million. Its target was up to $200 million. The offer price per stapled security was an indicative range of $1.45 to $1.55, and they were issued at $1.50. More
Windlab Begins Building Big New Wind Farm
Shares in newly floated Windlab have continued to fall and the $2 shares touched a post IPO low of $1.47 in late October, only two months after listing. This was despite the company announcing that construction is to begin on its $160 million Kennedy Energy Park hybrid wind and solar energy project in north Queensland. The shares have since turned up and are now around $1.70. More
Two Share Plunges for Murray River Organics
Murray River Organics' shares lost 75 per cent of their value over May, falling in two major down steps from $1.13 to a low of 28 cents. One of two positives to emerge is the high level of confidence that the board has in the company. On the way down, four directors bought a combined 2,633,300 shares worth $1,009,725 at prices from 66 cents to 36.5 cents. More
Duxton Water Fully Invested
Duxton Water has fully committed the capital it raised in last year's IPO. At 31 March it had invested $63 million in water entitlements or 94 per cent of its portfolio. It has entered into contracts, agreed terms for contracts, or has pending offers for contracts for another $4.4 million of water entitlements. When complete, these will make its portfolio fully invested. More

New Wind Farm for Infigen
Infigen Energy is to build the 113.2 MW Bodangora wind farm near Wellington in New South Wales and has launched an underwritten capital raising of $151 million to pay for the equity component and to possibly refinance its Global Facility and Woodlawn Project Finance Facility. The institutional entitlement offer and the retail entitlement offer are at 89 cents per security. More

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Pre-Profit Securities
Another Energy Efficiency Hopeful
Energy efficiency companies have found it tough going in the ASX, and while Buddy Platform has had a good share price run over the past year it still has a long way to go to achieve profitability. In January last year the shares for Buddy Platform were 5 cents, by November they had peaked at a four year high of 41 cents, and this January they were still just above 20 cents. It was a good ride if you caught it and got out at the right stop. So what is the story, and what's the catch? More

More Changes at Vmoto
Vmoto is one of those companies that has a great idea and products - electric scooters - but is taking a long time to commercialize them and still seems a long way from getting some serious traction. One big roadblock was out of its hands: for some time now some Chinese local governments have cracked down on electric scooters, which has dampened Chinese sales. This has now impacted Vmoto's Chinese joint venture. More

NSW's Largest Grid Support Battery
Shares in Tag Pacific doubled in October to a three year high of 10.5 cents. During that time Tag made two announcements - its subsidiary MPower won a contract from Endeavour Energy to design, build and integrate a 1 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) that will be NSW's largest grid support battery system; and MPower also launched what it said is its next generation of battery energy storage capability. More

Redflow Raising Leaves out Retail Investors
Redflow is raising up to $14.5 million at a very cheap 10 cents per share but the offer is not available to its retail investors. More
ReNu Energy Steps Up Solar Focus
Having recently added solar energy as a key area of focus for its business, ReNu Energy has moved quickly to build its solar assets with an alliance with a solar projects developer and the purchase of its first solar project. It has also changed its strategy. More

EnviroSuite Sells Consulting Business
EnviroSuite is selling its Pacific Environment Consulting practice to focus on its environmental monitoring and management services. The sale is a big move that dramatically changes EnviroSuite's business. The buyer is Environmental Resources Management (ERM), said to be the world's leading environmental and sustainability consulting group. More

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Pre-Revenue Securites
Two Steps Forward for Leaf
Leaf Resources has taken two more steps towards commercializing its lignin and glycerol from waste biomass technology. It has signed an exclusive agency agreement with HB International, one of the largest glycerol brokers in the world, for the supply of raw glycerol and the sale of refined glycerol. The second step is entering the biodegradable packaging market, which offers short term revenue while it develops its major plant in Malaysia. More

Change of Focus at Algae.Tec
Micro caps often have several irons in the fire and don't find their main business activity until one of the irons heats us. This looks like it may be happening at Algae.Tec, which has now begun to refer to itself as a "plant-based health & wellbeing company". The company began life on the ASX trying to commercialize a technology that could grow and turn carbon-consuming algae into biofuel. More
Technology Advance for Batteries
Graphite mine developer Kibaran Resources said it has made a major breakthrough in the production of battery-grade graphite using a new environmentally-friendly process that eliminates the use of toxic chemicals. More
First Commercial Graphene Facility
First Graphite has received works approval from the WA Department of Environment Regulation for the construction of a graphene production facility at the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson near Perth. This will be operational in the fourth quarter of this year. First Graphite said it will be the first ASX-listed company to have a commercial graphene production capability. More

Australian Vanadium Looking at Residential Battery Market
Australian Vanadium's battery subsidiary VSUN Energy says there is strong demand for a residential scale Vanadium Redox Flow Battery (VRB) for the Australian market, and it is undertaking a study into developing a local residential product. VSUN Energy has received over 80 requests for domestic storage devices since its start up a year ago. More

World Solar Record for Dyesol
Dyesol partner Solliance has achieved a world record for perovskite solar cell photovoltaic technology on industrially applicable roll-to-roll processes of 12.6 per cent conversion efficiency at the cell level. The partners said the results pave the way towards an accelerated market introduction of this new source of renewable energy. More


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Unlisted Companies
Environmental Markets Opportunity
It's not often an investment presents itself which concurrently generates both high financial and environmental returns. Today I am writing about an investment which is focused upon ticking both of these boxes, EnviroCap (short for Environmental Capital). EnviroCap is aiming to establish a market leading position within Australia's environmental investment sector... More


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