Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) shed 11% this week to a penny after the Moroccan authorities slapped a US$14mln tax bill on the group in relation to a previous transfer of interest between two of its subsidiaries.
The firm said this assessment is based on a misunderstanding and is formally refuting it.
Just over two months ago, the junior upstream company raised GBP2.75mln reaching a cash balance of GBP4.2mln, at the time estimated to last until next March.
The news is just the last blow for a stock that was trading at 93p only three years ago.
The explorer has focused on gas assets in Italy and Morocco but ultimately disappointed in both countries.
The Italian portfolio was sold to Coro Energy in April 2018, when the Tendrara assets in Morocco were still expected to hold 377bn cubic feet of recoverable gas based on analysis of just 1% of the total permit area.
However, in May 2019 Sound did not find commercial flow rates at Tendrara so it started a partial divestment process.
No transaction has been completed as of yet, but in the meantime chief executive James Parsons, chief financial officer JJ Traynor and exploration director Brian Mitchener have all jumped ship.
Looking at the wider market, the AIM All-Share dipped 0.6% to 957 this week, outperforming the FTSE 100 index, which fell 1.3% to 5,876.
A positive focus was the roll-out of 5G networks and renewables utilities which has sparked interest in geospatial analytics, the collection of location data from GPS and satellites to identify patterns.
This week fellow software company 1Spatial Plc (LON:SPA), up 12% to 30p in the same period, saw a cross-trade between shareholders, with Oryx International chopping its stake to 9.96% from 10.86% and Canaccord Genuity upping its holding to 14.1% from 13.3%.
Also among the week’s risers, Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD) soared 222% higher to 0.1p after agreeing a deal with Chinese state-owned engineering firm Sinohydro to collaborate on the Bougouni lithium project, in southern Mali.
Fellow miner Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO) rocketed 91% higher to 0.8p despite placing shares at a 36% discount to raise GBP1mln to fund exploration in Mexico and Australia, as it also promoted technical director Bill Brodie Good to its chief executive.
Staying in the mining sector, Orosur Mining PLC (LON:OMI) shot up 47% to 6p after NYSE-listed mining giant Newmont paid the final cash payment of US$500,000 for the Anza gold project in Colombia.
Commercial kitchens specialist Filta Group Holdings PLC (LON:FLTA) jumped 16% higher to 104p after securing exclusive rights to a new disinfectant which can help combat the spread of coronavirus, as it doesn’t require rooms to be emptied nor extensive use of personal protective equipment.
Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) advanced 12% to 18p after expanding its licensing agreement with vaccine groups Saiba and DeepVax to take it into oncology. The group developed a virus-like particle technology for a peanut allergy candidate which has shown early promise.
Among the fallers this week, music provider 7digital Group PLC (LO:TDIG) announced plans to support its projects within the spheres of home fitness, artist monetisation, and social media with new funding. The group placed new shares at a 23% discount this week prompting a 32% share price drop to 2p.
ImmuPharma also stood out after tapping investors. The pharma company lost 23% to 12p after completing the issue at a 24% discount even though it was launched in response to investor demand.
Meanwhile, smart meter network specialist CyanConnode Holdings PLC (LON:CYAN) tumbled 14% to 3p after delays in an Indian contract saw its revenue slump by 44% to GBP2.5mln in the 15 months to March, compared to the previous 12 months.
And a software provider to the financial industry, Arcontech Group PLC (LON:ARC) shed 9% to 181p after saying the outlook remains uncertain with its traditionally long and complex sales cycles potentially getting even longer.
Elsewhere, Revolution Bars Group PLC (LON:RBG) dipped 6% to 15p despite announcing that trading has been ahead of expectations thanks to the UK government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme in August.