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8/7/09

Maple Energy (MPLE.L): When a country's pension funds rely on exploration-stage oil companies

This is the week's chart for Maple Energy, a small O&G play based in London and ramping up operations in Peru. It has a small production footprint but is mainly valued on its exploration upside...until now, that is.


On Thursday it announced that its drilling program had hit nothing special and has lucked out. The price of the stock dropped like a stone, of course. Hey, this is the way with small O&G companies...if they don't deliver the goods they dive hard. It's always been this way and it always will be.

But the funniest thing about this is the stupidity of the people that run the Peruvian stock exchange the BVL. When MPLE.L decided to quote on the local bourse last year the idiot suits were so pleased they finally had an O&G listing to play with that they made it a major part of their headline indices. Right now MPLE is a tad under 7% of the whole General Index (IGBVL) and as such is a major part of the whole country's pension funds, as the money tucked away by prudent Peruvians was being gambled (no other word for it) on a tiny oil explorer as part of the stock market indexing of funds....with official approval by the experts that run the exchange!

So when the pension contributors get their statement next month and ask "hey, where's my money gone, dude?" the answer will be "oh....err...this tiny oil company missed on three drills and we lost the whole country 14 squillion because of it". I'd call them dumbasses but that would be an insult to people I've called dumbass in the past, even the delicate flowers of the Motley Dumbass. True financial stupidity for all to see, courtesy of the arrogant suits that mismanage Peru.

There will be more profound talk on MPLE.L in this weekend's IKN Weekly, as subscribers know it's not the first time this company has been mentioned in the Weekly.