Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Troubles for Central Rand Gold have mounted with the London Stock Exchange ruling that it effectively no longer had a nominated adviser and that it had just weeks to find a new one or terminate its presence on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Central Rand, which is in dire financial difficulties and from which CEO Lola Trollip has just resigned, could fast be approaching the end of trading on AIM, said Yuen Low, an analyst at Shore Capital in London.

"Back in February 2017, we opined that if Central Rand Gold were a living creature rather than a company, it would have been administered a bullet of mercy a long time ago," the analyst said.

The bourse’s decision to remove ZAI Corporate Finance’s status as a nominated adviser could well be the "final nail in the coffin" for Central Rand’s listing in London, Low said.

The departure of ZAI will happen on October 19 and, normally, if the nominated adviser was not replaced within a month, the listing would be terminated. Central Rand’s shares are suspended from trade on AIM and in Johannesburg as it tries to raise $20m, an unlikely occurrence by the company’s own admission.

Unless the suspension is lifted, the company would be delisted on November 13. "The company is working with advisers to achieve the lifting of that suspension before the cancellation occurs," Central Rand said.

"The company’s board is currently in discussions with a proposed replacement nominated adviser, which is .... undertaking due diligence," it said.

Low held out slim hopes that another nominated adviser would be readily found.

"While there are a handful of ‘usual suspects’ that we suspect might consider throwing their hats in the ring to be [nominated adviser] to a company of Central Rand Gold’s ‘quality’, we think this could well prove the final nail in the coffin of Central Rand’s AIM listing," he said.

Central Rand came to the market in 2011 with unrealistic promises of 1-million ounces of gold production by 2012.

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