By Paul McBeth
Jan. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Blis Technologies, the NZX-listed biotech company, is blaming a near-trebling in its share price on plans to tidy up its share registry by mopping up small holdings.
Chief executive Barry Richardson told the stock market supervisor it announced plans in December to put a minimum holding of 25,000 shares for its investors in a bid to cut administration costs, and that had probably caused the price spike.
NZX Market Services issued a 'please explain' after Blis shares climbed to 3 cents from 1.1 cents since the Dec. 21 announcement. The stock dropped 6.7 percent to 2.8 cents on the NZX today.
"Approximately 1,600 shareholders would be required to supplement their existing shareholding if they wish to continue to remain shareholders," Richardson said in a letter to NZX Market Services. "Due to the relative lack of liquidity in the market for Blis shares, shareholders who are seeking to top up their holdings may have influenced the market price."
Listed companies operate under continuous disclosure rules which mean they have to provide any information that could be material to its business and influence its share price.
Blis shareholders with parcels of fewer than 25,000 shares have until March 21 to top-up their stakes, otherwise their investment will be sold by a banker instructed by Blis, and fees will be deducted.
The Dunedin-based company expects to report an operating loss of $1.3 million in the year ending March 31, after posting a pre-tax and finance loss of $1.2 million in the 2012 financial year.
In October it raised $1.3 million via a share purchase plan and a placement at 0.7 cents apiece.