The share price of stock exchange shell company Fantasy Network (TASE: FNTS) shot up 44% yesterday on especially lively turnover of some NIS 8 million, without any announcement from the company, which has no activity. This brought the unexplained rise in its share price over a week to more than 180%. This morning, the reason became clear, when Fantasy Network reported that it had decided to examine the possibility of becoming active in the burgeoning field of blockchain, the technology on which digital currencies like Bitcoin are based.
Following the report, the stock rose by more than 70% on a huge turnover which by midday was close to NIS 13 million. The current share price gives the company a market cap of more than NIS 40 million. Since last Sunday, the share price has risen by nearly 400%.
In its notification today, Fantasy Network said it had appointed Ronen Juster, who yesterday resigned as a director of the company, as a consultant to assist it in recruiting manpower for blockchain.
The price of a Bitcoin rose was up 18% this afternoon, reaching $16.5 thousand, according to website CryptoCompare. Bitcoins total market value is estimated at over $278 billion. Its price has soared by more than 1,300% so far this year. Yesterday, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) introduced trading in Bitcoin futures, and its rival, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), will start offering such futures next Monday. This will open the way to Bitcoin investment by financial institutions, and will also make it easier for market players to gamble on a fall in Bitcoin's price.
Until recently, Fantasy Network's business was in gaming. In October, its board authorized the sale of its activity to some of its managers and staff, because of the disappointment of the shareholders, headed by Gal Erez, who held a 9% stake and was appointed chairman after the sell off. Fantasy Network had not succeeded in generating substantial revenue and its losses were piling up. Another large shareholder is Zeev Bronfeld, wit a 6% stake, the remainder being mainly held by the general public.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 11, 2017
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