January 23rd, 2023 | 10:11 CET
Aurelius, Smartbroker Holding AG, Hypoport - Strong movements
Table of contents:
Smartbroker Holding AG - Eventful times in the anniversary year
It is now exactly 25 years since founder André Kolbinger launched a new innovation, an advertising-financed finance site with editorial articles and a community. In no time, this advanced to become the largest publisher-independent financial portal operator in the German-speaking world. Just 2 years after its launch, the stock market portal wallstreet-online.de recorded over 30 million page impressions. In the meantime, the figures for the highly scalable business model are, of course, significantly higher. At the end of December 2022, the number of registered users was 870,000, and the number of page impressions, together with the integrated partner sites ariva.de, boersennews.de and finanznachrichten.de, was around 171.6 million.
Since then, as is well known, the company in the capital has gone one step further. Shortly before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, Smartbroker was launched. The platform has around 200,000 existing customers, and customer assets under management total around EUR 8 billion. In order to achieve the goal of offering customers the "most attractive broker in Germany", a strategy shift to a new partner was necessary. With Baader Bank, a long-term cooperation has now been announced, which provides Smartbroker Holding AG not only with planning reliability but also with legal security. The launch of "Smartbroker 2.0." is firmly scheduled for mid-2023. The launch of a trading app and a trading interface programmed to the latest standards are essential for future customer acquisition.
In addition to the existentially important smartphone app, "Smartbroker 2.0." offers significant enhancements. Thus, the clientele is to be offered a significantly faster and completely digital opening of securities accounts, the opening of securities accounts for corporate customers, joint and junior securities accounts, as well as the trading of more than 20 cryptocurrencies will also be made possible in the future.
In contrast, Smartbroker's previous unique selling proposition will remain unaffected, namely the combination of highly favorable conditions of a typical neobroker with the broad selection of trading venues and investable products usually only known from established banks and classic brokers. The next update should be expected at the end of February. Here, the Company will present its figures for the past fiscal year 2022. In addition, an outlook for 2023 and the current status of development work are expected.
Smartbroker Holding AG's market capitalization has melted to around EUR 95 million after the delays and the management change in recent months. Those who believe in a successful launch of the "latest generation broker" agree with the management. Both CEO Kolbinger and CFO Roland Nicklaus bought at current share price levels.
Hypoport - Prepared for the market upheaval
In recent years, low interest rates and the construction boom played into the cards for financial broker Hypoport. However, with the end of the ultra-loose monetary policy and several interest rate increases, dark storm clouds were gathering in the construction financing sector. As early as September 2022, the Lübeck-based company conceded its forecasts, and far-reaching cost-cutting measures were also adopted. As a result of the crisis, Hypoport's share price crashed by almost 90% from EUR 612.00 in September 2021 to its all-time low of EUR 73.90.
Since then, the stock has recovered significantly to a current price of EUR 140.80. Through an accelerated placement process, 378,788 new shares have now been allocated at a price of EUR 132.00 each, resulting in gross issue proceeds of EUR 50 million. According to the Company's announcement, the money will be used for growth opportunities in the market transition phase.
Ronald Slabke, CEO of Hypoport SE, classifies the opportunities for the group of companies: "The rapid change in the macroeconomic environment, followed by an extraordinary reluctance of consumers to build, purchase and finance residential property in Germany since late summer 2022, has surprised us and all market participants. Hypoport adapted to these changed conditions in the shortest possible time as recently as last year. Our platforms stand for speed, integration and innovation for the benefit of all consumers and our partners. Our partners are more successful with us even in a difficult market. We are a strong partner for everyone who wants to bring more people into their own four walls. The funds raised from the capital increase are aimed at and underline our claim to actively shape the change in the housing market from our central role."
Aurelius - Uncertainty leads to sell-out
The planned segment change from qualified Open Market (m:access) to the simple and less regulated general Open Market has a bland aftertaste for many investors in Aurelius shares. Even though the Company assures that the rights of existing shareholders will be preserved in the downgrade, the action is not exactly a confidence-building measure.
As reasons for the segment change, the Company cited the financial and regulatory burden that listing in this segment entails, which in some cases also leads to disadvantages in the Company's day-to-day business. The share price of AURELIUS Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA lost around 35% of its value in the wake of the announcement and is quoted at EUR 14.04.
The analyst firm Alster Research reiterated its buy rating despite the announced segment change. Accordingly, the price target remains at EUR 38.
The crisis in the construction industry hit financial broker Hypoport, which is preparing for possible market opportunities by placing a capital increase. Aurelius lost a lot of confidence due to the planned segment change. Smartbroker plans to launch its "latest generation broker" in the second half of the current year.
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