Home » News and Views

Category Archives: News and Views

LocoSoco Collaborates with Iron Maiden founding member Tony Moore at the launch of his exclusive Signature Wine Collection. 

Friday 6th December

LocoSoco Group Plc, the company quoted on the Direkt Market segment of the Vienna Stock Exchange, that builds technology to profit from creating sustainable communities is pleased to announce an exclusive collaboration with Iron Maiden and Cutting Crew founding member Tony Moore to launch his new range of signature wines in collaboration with the TORTI Estate in Italy and in support of the NSPCC Charity. builds technology to profit from creating sustainable communities is pleased to announce an exclusive collaboration with Iron Maiden and Cutting Crew founding member Tony Moore to launch his new range of signature wines in collaboration with the TORTI Estate in Italy and in support of the NSPCC Charity.

Event Highlights:
  • The ‘Christmas Special’ event takes place on Tuesday 10th December, 7pm onwards at The Bedford, Balham, London.
  • The event is sponsored by LocoSoco Social Enterprise and Tony Moore’s TORTI Signature wines.
  • Along with other original Iron Maiden band members, singer, songwriter Tony Moore will perform a selection of hits to celebrate with the TORTI family the launch of his signature wine collection.
There are still some tickets available for the event next Tuesday. Email events@locoso.co and tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
LocoSoco CEO James Perry said: “We are pleased and proud to collaborate with Tony Moore at this event, to raise money in support of the NSPCC and to showcase LocoSoco’s work in bringing communities together.”
– Ends –



LocoSoco Group PLC

James Perry, Chief Executive Officer

Simon Rendell, Non-Executive Chairman

+44 (0)203 538 0716


Via Brand Communications and Novus Communications Ltd

Alan Green / Jacqueline Briscoe

+44 (0)7976 431608

+44 (0)207 448 9839


Capital Market Coach

Keswick Global AG

Tim Curle, Klaus Schwerdtfeger


+43 (1)740 408045


Kibo Energy #KIBO – Update re Reorganisation of Botswana Interests

Kibo Energy PLC, the multi-asset, Africa focused, energy company, is pleased to announce an update regarding its agreement with Shumba Energy Ltd (‘Shumba’) that significantly repositions its interests in Botswana, namely the Mabesekwa Coal Independent Power Project (“MCIPP”) and associated coal asset (see announcement dated 25 September 2019).


·     Signed first of a series of agreements to implement the Heads of Agreement (‘HoA’) with Shumba to reorganise the arrangements for the MCIPP and its associated coal asset in Botswana

·     Shareholder Agreement signed in respect of restructuring Kibo Energy Botswana (Pty) Ltd (‘KEB’), providing Kibo with a 35% interest in KEB, which holds a total 761Mt coal resource and has three large customers

·     Signed Shareholder Agreement concludes restructuring of first Botswana subsidiary company, Kibo Energy LTD (Botswana)

·     Remaining agreements on track to be completed by 20 March 2020 in which Kibo will also hold:

       o  85% interest in an energy project, which is to be called KP2

       o  35-40% interest in a new 300MW energy project, KP1, that will exclusively provide a new petrochemical plant with energy

·     Agreement gives Kibo access to a revenue stream from an estimated annual coal production of 7.5Mt coal p/a

Louis Coetzee, CEO of Kibo, commented, “We are delighted with the progress being made as we advance the restructuring of our interests in Botswana to significantly lower development and execution risk.  Being part of several much larger projects naturally provides many benefits and advantages to the Company and its shareholders.  Not least because, having finalised the shareholder agreement today, we’ll be holding a 35% interest in an enlarged project with a total 761Mt coal resource that already has three large customers, whereas before we had one.  We also continue to hold an 85% interest in the energy project, which is to be called KP2 and in addition, a 35-40% interest in a new 300MW energy project, KP1, a bespoke 300MW power plant that will exclusively provide a new petrochemical plant with energy, where the costs of feasibility / technical studies are to be funded by Shumba.

“We can now fully leverage our coal resource at Mabesekwa by providing and fast-tracking three different revenue streams, which would give Kibo access to a revenue stream from an estimated annual coal production of 7.5Mt coal p/a. compared to producing 1.5Mt p/a for its own consumption at the MCIPP power plant.  As I mentioned in past announcements, there is no funding impact in addition to what Kibo currently has for the development of the MCIPP power plant other than we may have to nominally increase our operational capacity to meet the additional operational / management demands for the development of two 300MW power plants.  This is a real opportunity for a shorter and faster route to revenue generation; we look forward to updating shareholders on further progress soon.”

Background & Details

In September 2019, Kibo and Shumba signed a binding Heads of Agreement (‘HoA’) with Shumba and various subsidiaries of each party (‘the Parties’) to reorganise the arrangements for the MCIPP and its associated coal asset in Botswana.

The reorganisation sees the MCIPP Retained Assets consolidated into Kibo Energy Botswana (Pty) Ltd (‘KEB’); this enlarged project in which Kibo has a 35% interest has a total 761Mt coal resource.  An additional Joint Venture (‘KP2’) between Kibo and Shumba (held 85%/15% respectively) will advance the existing MCIPP energy projects in Botswana. Additionally, Kibo and Shumba will jointly manage and oversee the development of a bespoke 300MW power station (the ‘KP1 Power Plant’) through the incorporation of a new company to be held 35%-40% by Kibo and the balance by Shumba.  Shumba will provide the full development funding requirement for associated feasibility and technical studies.

Notably, the KP1 Power Plant is envisaged to provide 300 MW power to a Petrochemical Plant (‘PCP’), which will provide Botswana first and then Africa with energy fuels and specialty chemicals. The PCP is being developed by Coal Petroleum (‘CP’), which is 80% owned by Shumba with other partners including leading Chinese EPC companies PowerChina International Group Limited and Wison Group.   CP is engaged in advanced discussions with several regional purchasers of fuels and other petrochemicals in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia.

The consolidated MCIPP Resource will supply the PCP, the KP1 Power Plant and the MCIPP power plant with coal.

Accordingly, a series of agreements are being advanced between the Parties to implement the HoA.  The first key agreement is the Shareholder Agreement in respect of restructuring KEB, which has now been finalised; this concludes the restructuring of the first Botswana subsidiary company, Kibo Energy LTD (Botswana).  The remaining agreements are on track to be completed by 20 March 2020.


For further information please visit www.kibo.energy or contact:

Louis Coetzee


Kibo Energy PLC

Chief Executive Officer

Andreas Lianos

+27 (0) 83 4408365

River Group

Corporate and Designated

Adviser on JSE

Jason Robertson

+44 (0) 20 7374 2212

First Equity Limited

Joint Broker

Bhavesh Patel / Stephen Allen

+44 20 3440 6800

RFC Ambrian Limited


Isabel de Salis /

Beth Melluish

+44 (0) 20 7236 1177

St Brides Partners Ltd

Investor and Media Relations Adviser


Kibo Energy PLC is a multi-asset, Africa focused, energy company positioned to address the acute power deficit, which is one of the primary impediments to economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, it is the Company’s objective to become a leading independent power producer in the region.

Kibo is simultaneously developing three similar coal-fuelled power projects: the Mbeya Coal to Power Project (‘MCPP’) in Tanzania; the Mabesekwa Coal Independent Power Project (‘MCIPP’) in Botswana; and the Benga Independent Power Project (‘BIPP’) in Mozambique.  By developing these projects in parallel, the Company intends to leverage considerable economies of scale and timing in respect of strategic partnerships, procurement, equipment, human capital, execution capability / capacity and project finance.

Additionally, the Company has a 60% interest in MAST Energy Developments Limited (‘MED’), a private UK registered company targeting the development and operation of flexible power plants to service the Reserve Power generation market.

Alan Green talks Santa Rally, Funds, JD Sports #JD, Tiziana Life Sciences #TILS & Itaconix #ITX on Vox Markets podcast

Alan Green discusses Santa Rally, funds, JD Sports #JD, Tiziana Life Sciences #TILS & Itaconix #ITX with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. The interview is 19 minutes 13 seconds in.

Tiziana Life Sciences #TILS – Initiates Phase 1 Clinical Trial with Orally Administered Foralumab, a Fully Human anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody, in Healthy Volunteers

London/New York, 4 December 2019 – Tiziana Life Sciences plc (Nasdaq: TLSA / AIM: TILS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing innovative therapeutics for inflammatory diseases and cancersis pleased to announce initiation of a Phase I clinical trial in healthy volunteers with a proprietary oral formulation of Foralumab encapsulated in enteric-coated capsules. The primary objective of this single ascending dose (SAD) phase 1 study, being led by Dr. Tanuja Chitnis at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA USA, is to determine safety and tolerability of orally administered Foralumab. The clinical protocol also includes evaluation of pharmacokinetics to determine if there is any systemic absorption of Foralumab following oral administration. 

“Oral administration of Foralumab in enteric-coated capsules is a novel approach to upregulate T regulatory cells (Tregs) that have the capability to cross-through blood brain barrier and provide clinical benefits. Successful demonstration of safety in this study will facilitate immediate evaluation of orally administered Foralumab in a phase 2 clinical study in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease for which there are limited treatment options”, said Dr. Howard Weiner 

“We are excited to initiate this trial because this is the first-ever clinical study with orally administered Foralumab in enteric-coated capsules. The oral route of administration is expected to minimize toxicities associated with intravenous administration of anti-CD3 mAbs and it may also improve the clinical outcome through activation of gut mucosal immunity. Our proprietary oral formulation technology has the potential to be useful for treatment of neurodegenerative and gastrointestinal diseases,” commented Kunwar Shailubhai, CEO and CSO of Tiziana. 

About Dr. Howard Weiner

Dr. Howard L. Weiner is the Robert L. Kroc Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School, Director and Founder of the Partners Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center and Co-Director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. He has pioneered immunotherapy in MS and has investigated immune mechanisms in nervous system diseases including MS, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, stroke and brain tumors. He has also pioneered the investigation of the mucosal immune system for the treatment of autoimmune and other diseases and the use of anti-CD3 to induce Tregs for the treatment of these diseases. 

About Dr. Tanuja Chitnis

Dr. Tanuja Chitnis is a Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Translational Neuroimmunology Research Center at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. She has led studies including the testing of nasal Foralumab in healthy volunteers and a study of fingolimod in pediatric MS that led to FDA approval.

About Harvard Medical Centre

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is located adjacent to Harvard Medical School, of which it is the second largest teaching affiliate. It is the largest hospital of the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. With Massachusetts General Hospital, it is one of the two founding members of Partners HealthCare, the largest healthcare provider in Massachusetts. BWH conducts the second largest hospital-based research program in the world, with an annual research budget of more than $630 million. Pioneering milestones include the world’s first successful heart valve operation and the world’s first solid organ transplant. 

About Neurodegenerative diseases  

Neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and others. Among these, Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent disease. In 2013 the global market for AD was 4.9 billion and expected to rise to 13 billion by the end of 2023. Current treatments for neurodegenerative diseases are mainly symptomatic, but new disease-modifying drugs to slow or stop the progression of the disease are now emergingThree AChE inhibitors are currently in use for AD, i.e. donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon) and galantamine (Reminyl) and cladribine (Mavenclad) for MS. It is recognized that inflammation plays a critical role in neurodegenerative diseases of the CNS.  Immune-directed therapies for neurodegenerative diseases target immune system cells such as the T cells that cause inflammatory and autoimmune disease in MS and microglia in ALS and show promise. It has been shown in animal models of progressive MS that anti-CD3 antibody targeting T cells ameliorates disease. These effects were shown to be IL-10 dependent, mediated by regulatory T cells leading to suppression of the disease. There is great promise in ongoing studies of inflammation-targeted neuroprotective strategies, which may ultimately be used across neurodegenerative diseases.

About Tiziana Life Sciences

Tiziana is a UK biotechnology company that focuses on the discovery and development of novel molecules to treat human disease in oncology and immunology. In addition to milciclib, the Company is also developing Foralumab for liver diseases. Foralumab is the only fully human anti-CD3 mAbs in clinical development in the world. This compound has potential application in a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as crohn’s disease (CD), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), primary biliary cholangitis (PBS), ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, type-1 diabetes (T1D), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, where modulation of a T-cell response is desirable.

For more information go to http://www.tizianalifesciences.com

The person who arranged for the release of this announcement on behalf of the Company was Kunwar Shailubhai, CEO of Tiziana. 


Tiziana Life Sciences plc

Gabriele Cerrone, Chairman and founder

+44 (0)20 7495 2379

Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nominated adviser)              

Liam Murray / Jo Turner

+44 (0)20 7213 0883

Shore Capital (Broker)

Antonio Bossi / Fiona Conroy

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 2 December 2019


Coinsilium (COIN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Devmons to set up a joint venture using Coinsilium’s existing Gibraltar subsidiary TerraStream. The company will offer blockchain software and systems development. Devmons supplies the technology development expertise. More details will be published when the agreement is signed, and it is hoped that operations will commence in the first quarter of 2020. The new venture should not need significant funds, due to advanced payments being requested when any contract is won.

Gunsynd (GUN) has entered an agreement to sell its stake in Oyster Oil and Gas to Sajawin Pty Ltd. There will be a payment of £20,000 after the signing of the term sheet and a further £240,000 to be paid in two tranches, the second of which will be payable 60 days after completion. Sajawin still has to complete due diligence and raise at least A$1.5m when it reverses into an ASX shell. Gunsynd will subscribe for A$200,000 of shares. The deal can be terminated if the conditions are not met by the end of April. Production sharing contracts for four blocks in Djibouti are not included in the transaction. George Garnett has resigned as a non- executive director of Gunsynd.

Sativa Group (SATI) is exploring the possibility of an AIM quotation. It has appointed Cenkos Securities as adviser. Management hopes that the move could happen early next year. The first batch of seedlings is being prepared for a move to the cultivation room with the first extract of medicinal cannabis set to be delivered to King’s College London before the end of 2019. That will be used in research on inflammation and respiratory conditions. Crops take 12 weeks to grow.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that production at the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania is ahead of expectations, but there is room for improvement in 2020. NQ has made an additional investment of £150,000 in Tasmania Energy Metals in the form of a three-year convertible loan. NQ has an option to acquire the exploration licences and minerals processing facility that is being developed. The Barnes Hill nickel project mineral resource estimate has increased to 14.3 million tonnes grading 0.725 nickel and 0.05% cobalt.

Southern Africa-based social impact company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) increased its interim revenues but also made a higher loss. The Kazuko Lodge was hampered by the water shortage in the Cape Town area, but the weak Rand is boosting demand for holidays from Americans. There was an increase in honey produced by Bee Sweet Honey in Zambia. Cash in the bank improved from R12.3m to R21.2m. following a further cash injection by existing shareholders. The NAV was R179m at the end of August 2019.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has completed the sale of its African operations. The share consolidation was completed on 29 November.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) says that its NAV fell from $51.9m to $7.03m in the 12 months to June 2019. There was a small profit for the year and the decline in NAV came from write-downs. Trading has ended in London Capital Group Holdings and Queros Capital Partners 8% bonds 2025.



Sustainable wood products supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) is raising €46.3m in order to fund the completion of the Tricoya plant in Hull and the fourth Accoya reactor in Arnhem. It will also finance the evaluation of an Accoya plant in the US. The cash will be raised at €1.05 a share via a placing and a one-for-seven open offer. The Hull plant could be operational in the second half of 2020.

STM Group (STM) warns that the rebranding of its UK pensions business has been delayed as it awaits regulatory approval to operate as a Master Trust for auto-enrolment. New pension applications have been lower than expected. The 2019 underlying pre-tax profit is forecast at £2.5m. Next year’s indemnity insurance payment will cost an additional £500,000.

Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is raising up to £6.5m via a 31.199996 for one open offer at 1p a share in order to replenish its coffers while it seeks a suitable acquisition in the chemicals and other sectors. There was £7.5m in cash at the end of June 2019. Wilmcote will look at smaller acquisitions than in the past.

Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) increased interim revenues by 53% to £2.82m with growth accelerating in the second quarter to September 2019. October revenues were more than £1m. Sosandar is still loss-making, but it could move into profit in 2020-21. The customer database has been significantly increased.

Parcel delivery firm DX (DX.) says its recovery continues to be on track. It expects to return to profit this year.

Cyber security services provider Shearwater Group (SWG) generated organic revenue growth of 11% in the first half. Overall revenues grew 262% to £16.3m. New managed service contracts provide revenue visibility. There was £1.68m in the bank at the end of September 2019.

A £5m fundraising at 0.15p a share will help Union Jack Oil (UJO) to finance the drilling of two appraisal wells at West Newton, where it has a 16.665% interest. There will also be a side-track well drilled at Biscathorpe.

There will be a second half shortfall in revenues at Malvern International (MLVN) with little improvement on the same period last year. Delays in approving overseas students, plus poor trading in London and Malaysia. WH Ireland has withdrawn forecasts. Cutting out Malaysian losses could enable Malvern to make a profit in 2020.

CAP-XX (CPX) is acquiring supercapacitor manufacturing assets from Murata, which a licensee of CAP-XX IP. This will boost manufacturing capacity and should improve profit. CAP-XX has raised £2.75m and an open offer could raise up to £750,000 more.

Live data systems company WANdisco (WAND) is raising $16.5m at 425p a share, which was a premium of 23% to the previous closing price. This will provide additional working capital. An existing customer has extended its relationship with WANdisco and the contract is worth $500,000.



Interim figures from Associated British Engineering (ASBE) show improved revenues and a lower loss. That is mainly down to a better performance by British Polar Engines. The business has been rationalised and surplus space will generate revenues in the fourth quarter. The pension deficit remains a concern.

Flavourings supplier Treatt (TET) reported flat full year revenues of £112.7m, but a 5% improvement in underlying pre-tax profit to £13.3m. There was a 10% decline in citrus revenues, which was made up for by growth elsewhere. The dividend was raised from 5.1p a share to 5.5p a share. There will be increased US capacity next year.

Nuformix (NFX) is raising £1.25m at 7p a share in order to provide funds while it negotiates deals in Asia and North America for NXP002, which is focused on the treatment for human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. There will also be additional money spent on two other treatment programmes.

Highway Capital (HWC) had net liabilities of £908,000 at the end of August 2019. It continues to seek a suitable acquisition.

Blake Holdings is making a mandatory cash offer for Hardy Oil and Gas (HDY) having taken its stake to 42.27%. The 5p a share offer values Hardy at £3.7m.

Andrew Hore



Ken Baksh December 2019 Market Report

During one-month period to 30th November 2019, major equity markets registered gains. The FTSE ALL-World Index rose by 2.8% over the period, now up by 21.3% since the beginning of the year. The VIX index fell by 8% to end the period at 12.44, a rather “complacent” level by historic standards.  Most fixed interest products fell, in price terms, during the month. Sterling was stronger versus the Yen, but otherwise moves were small. The Chinese Renminbi stayed reasonably stable versus the US dollar as trade talks continued. Commodities displayed a mixed price performance overall.

The European Central Bank saw changes in leadership although the debates about reviving growth,environment,pan-European initiatives etc are expected to continue. At the time of writing Germany appears to be on the brink of a recession and calls for fiscal loosening are increasing. Political events have featured further signs of discontent in Germany(coalition split?) and France, renewed Spanish election speculation, and inevitable squabbling re the EU (ex-UK?) Budget. US market watchers continued to grapple with ongoing tariff discussions (China, and prospectively Europe), Federal Budget concerns, Iranian sanctions, Venezuela, North Korean meeting stalemate and Trump’s personal issues (impeachment?). US economic data has indicated a solid consumer trend although relatively buoyant first quarter GDP growth figures did include a large element of inventory building and more recent official figures have been mixed. Corporate results/forward looking statements have taken on a more cautious tone, especially related to tariff developments (actual or rumoured). Official interest rates have been reduced three times to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, much as expected, and a “pause” was indicated by Fed Chairman Powell at the recent meeting.  In the Far East, China flexed its muscles in response to Trump’s trade and other demands, but anecdotal evidence points to a steadily weakening economy. Recent data releases pointed to 6.0% quarterly GDP growth with risks growing to the downside. Hong Kong remains still very volatile. Japanese economic growth was downgraded slightly to 0.8%, mainly on a weaker trade performance. The recent Upper House election result confirmed the LDP current strong position while at the Bank of Japan meeting, the current easier fiscal stance was reconfirmed, although the scheduled October 1st VAT increase has been applied. 

The UK continued to report somewhat mixed economic data with stable  developments on the labour front but poor corporate investment , volatile retail sales, inflation a little higher than expected, weak relative GDP figures and deteriorating property sentiment, both residential (esp London) and commercial (especially retail). Figures announced just yesterday (30th November) by the CBI show historic and prospective output falling by about 10%.Business and market attention, both domestic and international, is clearly focussed on ongoing BREXIT deliberations under new Prime Minster, Boris Johnson. Both the Chancellor and Bank of England Governor have made frequent references to the unsettling effects of any unsatisfactory Brexit outcome, as have a growing number of business leaders and independent academic bodies. The actual situation remains very fluid, and at the time of writing, an election looms in less than a fortnight. Political factors aside, economic and corporate figures will inevitably be distorted over coming months, and it would not be a complete surprise if UK entered a technical recession soon. GDP growth of a mere 1% or less for full year 2020 looks very likely.

Aggregate world hard economic data continues to show 2019 expansion of around 3.0%, although forecasts of future growth continue to be reduced the leading independent international organizations. As well as slowing projections in the developed markets of USA, China and Europe, a number of developing economies are experiencing headwinds for a variety of reasons e.g. India and  much of Latin America There appears to be a growing chorus of further action on the fiscal front e.g. infrastructure spending, as other instruments e.g. interest rates may have limited potential from current levels. Fluctuating currencies continued to play an important part in asset allocation decisions, sterling/yen being a recent example, while some emerging market currencies have been exceptionally volatile e.g. Turkey. Movements in the $/Yuan are also taking on increasing significance


Global Equities rose by 2.8% over November, the FTSE ALL World Index now showing a gain of 21.25% since the year end, albeit following the very weak last quarter of 2018. The UK broad and narrow market indices, both advanced by under 2% over the monthly period, lagging world equities in sterling adjusted terms by about 10%, since the beginning of 2019. Along with the UK, Asia and Emerging Markets lagged during the month while USA and Continental Europe showed above average gains. The VIX index fell, reflecting a greater risk-taking mood to a level of 12.44, and down 51.06% since the beginning of the year. 

UK Sectors

A mixed month for Uk sectors with some of the more traditionally “defensive” sectors such as pharmaceuticals, telecoms and utilities lagging while industrial, consumer and real estate stocks rose by over 4%.  Over the eleven -month period, industrial shares are showing an absolute gain of over 24% while the worst performing UK sectors, oil, banks and telcos are still in negative territory.

Fixed Interest

Gilt prices fell over the month, the 10-year UK yield standing at 0.56% currently.  Other ten-year yields closed the month at US, 1.75%, Japan, -0.14%, and Germany, -0.36%.  UK corporate bond prices also fell slightly over the month, and more speculative grades showed larger price falls. Floating rate bonds rose while the favoured convertible bond was redeemed, as expected, after showing a year to date return of about 10%. See my recommendations in preference shares, convertibles, corporate bonds, floating rate bonds, speculative high yield etc. A list of my top thirty income ideas (many yielding around 6%) from over 10 different asset classes is also available to subscribers.

Foreign Exchange

Sterling was the main mover amongst the major currencies during November largely on political news. Since the beginning of the year, sterling has appreciated more than 5% against the Euro. As ever, FX decisions remain crucial in determining asset allocation strategy. See my recent note regarding various Japanese strategies.


A mixed month for commodities on global growth concerns and supply shocks. The oil price advanced, while gold fell 2.5%, and industrial metals were a little firmer. Palladium advanced 2.52% taking its year to date gain to 44.3%

Looking Forward 

Over the coming months, geo-political events and Central Bank actions/statements meeting, will continue to dominate news headlines and market sentiment, in my view. In contrast to previous years I would expect December to be particularly “noisy” in market terms. To some extent, the slower economic growth forecasts that are appearing, will inevitably lead to some scale-back in corporate profit projections, although there may be offsetting fiscal and monetary effects. With growing numbers of government bond yields in negative territory, calls for more fiscal action will intensify.

US watchers will continue to speculate on the timing and number of further interest rate moves during the 2020/2021 period while longer term Federal debt dynamics, election debate and trade” war” winners/losers (a moving target) will increasingly affect sentiment. Corporate earnings growth will be subject to even greater analysis, amidst a growing list of obstacles. Additional discussions pertaining to North Korea, Russia, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Iran, and Trump’s own position(impeachment) could precipitate volatility in equities, commodities and currencies. In Japan market sentiment may be calmer after recent political and economic events although international events e.g. exchange rates and tariff developments, will affect equity direction. Economic data, has, pointed to sluggish growth, with persistently low inflation and a trade war with USA has been averted (for the time being).  There is increasing speculation that China may announce more stimulative measures and key $/Yuan exchange rate levels are being watched closely. European investment mood will be tested by generally weakening economic figures and an increasingly unstable political backdrop.

Hard economic data (especially final GDP, corporate investment, exports) and various sentiment/residential property indicators are expected to show that UK economic growth continues to be lack-lustre and any economic upgrade over current quarters appear extremely unlikely. The UK Treasury and the MPC have both produced rather negative economic medium-term projections, whatever the Brexit/political outcomes!  It is highly likely that near term quarterly figures (economic and corporate) will be distorted (both ways), and general asset price moves will be confused, in my view, by a mixture of currency development, political machinations, international perception and interest rate expectations. There could be scope for extreme sector/style/size volatility during the immediate Election period…providing risk….and opportunity.

In terms of current recommendations, 

Depending on benchmark, and risk attitude, first considerations should be appropriate cash/hedging stance and the degree of asset diversification (asset class, individual investment and currency).

An increased weighting in absolute return (but watch costs, underlying holdings and history very carefully), alternative income and other vehicles may be warranted as equity returns will become increasingly lower and more volatile and holding greater than usual cash balances may also be appropriate, including some outside sterling. Both equity and fixed interest selection should be very focussed. Apart from global equity drivers e.g. slowing economic and corporate growth and limited monetary response levers, there are many localised events e.g. UK, election and US tariff discussions, political uncertainty, that could upset many bourses, some still relatively close to recent record levels.

  • I have kept the UK at an overweight position on valuation grounds. Full details are available in the recent quarterly review. However, extra due diligence in stock/fund selection is strongly advised, due to ongoing macro-economic and political uncertainty. Sterling volatility should also be factored into the decision, making process.  
  • Within UK sectors, some of the higher yielding defensive plays e.g.  Pharma, Telco’s and Utilities have attractions relative to certain cyclicals, though watch regulatory concerns, and many financials are showing confidence by dividend hikes and buy-backs etc. Oil and gas majors may be worth holding despite the outperformance to date. Remember that the larger cap names such as Royal Dutch and BP will be better placed than some of the purer exploration plays in the event of a softer oil price. Differing electoral outcomes are likely to impact sectors,styles,size in many ways.
  • Continental European equities are preferred to those of USA, for reasons of valuation, and Central bank policy, although political developments and slowing economic growth need to be monitored closely. I suggest moving the European exposure to “neutral “from overweight. European investors may be advised to focus more on domestic, rather than export related themes.  Look at underlying exposure of your funds carefully and remember that certain European and Japanese companies provide US exposure, without paying US prices. I have recently written on Japan, and I would continue to overweight this market, despite the 2017 and 2018 outperformance relative to world equities. Smaller cap/ domestic focussed funds may outperform broader index averages e.g. JP Morgan Japanese Smaller Companies and Legg Mason.FX will play an increasing role in the Japanese equity decision.
  • Alternative fixed interest vehicles, which continue to perform relatively well, in total return terms, have attractions e.g. preference shares, convertibles, for balanced, cautious accounts and energy/ emerging/speculative grade for higher risk e.g. EnQuest,Eros. These remain my favoured plays within the fixed interest space. See recent note
  • UK bank preference shares still look particularly attractive and could be considered as alternatives to the ordinary shares in some cases. Bank balance sheets are in much better shape and yields of 6%-7% are currently available on related issues while a yield of 9.1% p.a., paid quarterly, is my favoured more speculative idea.
  • Alternative income and private equity names exhibited their defensive characteristics during 2018 and are still favoured as part of a balanced portfolio. Reference could also be made to the renewable funds (see my recent solar and wind power recommendations) which continue to outperform in total return terms. Selected infrastructure funds are also recommended for purchase but be aware of the political risk. New issues in this area e.g. Aquila and JPM are likely to move to larger premiums.
  • Any new commitments to the commercial property sector should be more focussed on direct equities and investment trusts than unit trusts (see my recent note comparing open ended and closed ended funds), thus exploiting the discount and double discount features respectively as well as having liquidity and trading advantages. However, in general I would not overweight the sector, as along with residential property, I expect further price stagnation especially in London offices and retail developments e.g. (Hammerson, Intu). Subscribers may read more on this subject in my latest quarterly review. One possible exception to the sentiment above is the growing attractiveness of certain assets to overseas buyers.   The outlook for some specialist sub sectors e.g. health (PHP equity and bond still strongly recommended), logistics, student, multi-let etc and property outside London/South-East, however, is currently more favourable. Investors should also consider some continental European property plays e.g SERE. 
  • I suggest a very selective approach to emerging equities and would continue to avoid bonds. Although the overall valuation for emerging market equities is relatively modest, there are large differences between individual countries. It is worth noting that several emerging economies in both Asia and Latin America have shown first quarter 2019 GDP weakness even before the onset of any possible tariff effects. A mixture of high growth/high valuation e.g. India, Vietnam and value e.g. Russia could yield rewards and there are signs of funds moving back to South Africa on political change. Turkish assets seem likely to remain highly volatile in the short term and much of South America is either in a crisis mode   e.g. Venezuela, Argentina or embarking on new political era e.g. Mexico and Brazil. As highlighted in the quarterly, Chinese index weightings are expected to increase quite significantly over coming years, and there are currently large inflows into this area following the price weakness of 2018. One additional factor to consider when benchmarking emerging markets is the large percentage now attributable to technology. A longer-term index argument is also being made in favour of Gulf States, although governance issues remain a concern.

Full quarter report available to clients/subscribers and suggested portfolio strategy/individual recommendations will be available soon. Ideas for a ten stock FTSE portfolio, model pooled fund portfolios (cautious, balanced adventurous, income), 30 stock income lists, defensive list, hedging ideas, and a list of shorter-term low risk/ high risk ideas can also be purchased, as well as bespoke portfolio construction/restructuring. 

Feel free to contact    regarding any investment project.

Good luck with performance! 

Ken Baksh Bsc,Fellow (UK Society of Investment Professionals)


1st December 2019


Alan Green CEO of Brand Communications talks about: i3 Energy #I3E Cranswick #CWK Tertiary Minerals #TYM Open Orphan #ORPH

(Interview starts at 12 minutes 20 seconds)

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 November 2019

National Milk Records (NMRP) says that revenues in the quarter to September 2019 fell to £5.25m. They were £5.54m in the previous quarter and £6.08m last year, although that was boosted by one-off projects. A cyber-attack hit business, but systems have been restored. Canaccord Genuity has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Western Selection (WESP) has acquired nearly 3.64 million shares in the Bilby (BILB) placing. That has more than doubled the number of shares owned by Western Selection and it owns 10.8% of Bilby, up from 6.66%.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (www.belvedereleisureresortsplc.com) is expected to gain a quotation for £10m of its 6.25% secured bonds on 29 November. The company is a subsidiary of Belvedere Leisure Park, which owns a site in Dumfries & Galloway with planning permission for a lodge park resort of 444 holiday lodges. The park will be built by Landal GreenParks.
Formerly AIM-quoted SAPO (www.sapoinvest.com), which was known as South African Property Opportunities, plans to join the NEX Growth Market on 2 December. The plan is to use the Isle of Man-based company as a shell to invest in the UK rural broadband market, although Labour plans for the broadband market could affect this strategy. Executive chairman Michael Meyer will own 40.55% of SAPO and three shareholders will own 84.8%.
Bracken Trading (BRAC) has decided to withdrawal is preference shares from NEX trading on 18 December. Trading had started on 9 September. There have not been any trades.
Altona Energy (ANR) is acquiring a petroleum exploration licence application within the Arckaringa Basin in South Australia. This is close to the company’s existing exploration licences. There could be potential for a gasification project. Management has decided not to invest in the potential vanadium investment.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that its subsidiary has received a tax refund of $279,275. Drilling at Specimen Hill shows gold bearing mineralisation in all holes. There are targets for follow-up drilling.
BWA Group (BWAP) has not received £80,000 of the £100,000 subscription funds for convertible loan notes issued when Kings of the North Corp was acquired. Alternative funding is being secured. Vilhjamur Thor Vilhjalmsson, chief executive of 23.75% shareholder SX, has resigned as a director of BWA and been replaced by Mark Billings.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has appointed Ian Tordoff as chief executive. He has experience in the healthcare sector and has been involved in assessing the potential cannabis-based compounds.
DXS International (DXSP) chief executive David Immelman’s wife acquired one million shares at 10p each from Ron Rhodes during September. That takes David Immelman’s interests to 13.3%.
The ten-for-one share consolidation has been approved by World High Life (LIFE) shareholders. Dealings in the new share started on 20 November.
A competing bid approach led Hanover Acquisition to increase its bid for Brady (BRY) from 10p a share to 18p a share, which values the risk management and commodity software company at £15m. Hanover has bought shares owned by Kestrel and Coltrane Master Fund and these stakes have taken its shareholding to 46.1%, so the bid is mandatory.
Feedback (FDBK) has secured its first pilot study for its Bleepa communications platform that can be used to securely access medical grade images via mobiles and PCs. The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust will use Bleepa for respiratory requests. Bleepa will be the main focus for Feedback and it offers the potential for significant recurring revenues. Less money will be spent on TexRAD.
Keeping up with tradition Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) released its interims at 4.35pm on Friday. This was the same time as the previous trading statement and earlier than the previous interims which were released at 5.04pm on a Friday. Revenues remain flat and there was a pre-tax loss. Cash was £28.1m at the end of September 2019.
Nick Develin is stepping up from chief operating officer of Naked Wine (WINE) to takeover from Rowan Gormley as chief executive. The company has sold its other operations and is purely an online wine retailer. UK trading ahs been weak, but the US is going well.
Kape (KAPE) is almost doubling its earnings per share by acquiring Private Internet Access, which expands the range of security software the group can offer. The acquisition will cost up to $95.5m in cash and shares, plus debt. Kape will have net debt following the acquisition, but this should be paid down over the next two years.
Litigation finance provider Manolete Partners (MANO) is building up its business having raised cash when it floated at the end of last year. Interim revenues rose by 15% to £7.5m, but most of those revenues were unrealised gains. That meant that there was a cash outflow in the period. This is due to the higher number (and higher value) of cases being taken on and many of these will be completed and generate cash in the second half. Manolete focuses on insolvency cases and this means that they tend to be settled much quicker than ones handled by Burford Capital.
Having failed to secure the financing for its proposed acquisition, Stirling Industries (STRL) is cancelling its AIM quotation and management plans to place the company in liquidation.
First Property (FPO) increased like-for-like interim revenues by 10% to £8.1m. The spare space at CH8 in Warsaw is being filled. The interim dividend has been edged up to 0.46p a share. The underlying NAV is 50.7p a share.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has sorted out its interest in Egypt at no cash cost. The stake is being transferred to the operator. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, although it can be terminated if it is not.
Social video company Brave Bison (BBSN) expects to make a full year loss on reduced revenues of £16m. That is worse than expected. Changing Facebook policies have made trading difficult. Management is trying to reduce the dependence on Facebook. There was £3.8m in the bank at the end of October 2019. Costs are being reduced. Robin Miller will step down as chairman at the end of 2019. CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) recently increased its stake in Brave Bison to 11.7%.
Digital TV software developer Mirada (MIRA) increased underlying revenues by 11% to $5.74m, but it is still losing money. However, contracts are being won with potential for more over the next few months. Net debt has fallen to $3.53m following the sale of Mirada Connect for £2.12m ($2.72m).
City of London Group (CIN) says that its subsidiary Recognise Financial Services has applied to become a bank. The plan is to offer financial services to smaller companies and savings products. The company hopes to be authorised later in 2020, but that may prove optimistic. City of London Group will have to raise cash to finance the development of the bank.
Shareholders took up 10.9% of the open offer shares in Xeros Technology Group (XSG) and this raised £217,000.
A general meeting requisition has been lodged with Plutus PowerGen (PPG) and the intention is to remove all the current directors. They would be replaced with Nicholas Lee, David Horner and Dr Nigel Burton.
Mporium (MPM) has appointed an administrator and the business has been sold to management. There is unlikely to be anything for shareholders.

Semiconductors supplier CML Microsystems (CML) reported a decline in revenues and profit in the six months to September 2019. The storage products revenues fell by nearly one-quarter, while there was a 4% decline in communications revenues. However, an overall improvement on the first half is expected in the second half. Interim pre-tax profit fell from £2.4m to £900,000. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.6m, down from £3m is forecast.
Macfarlane Group (MACF) has increased revenues by 4% in the four months to October 2019. The packaging supplier has reduced overheads to offset price deflation. Full year performance is expected to be better than last year.
Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) has increased market share, but that has only partly offset the tough underlying markets. Interim revenues were 2% lower at £103.1m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 8.5% down at £10.6m.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has acquired ten mining claims in northern Zimbabwe and they cover carbonatite type bodies. The properties were previously explored for phosphates.
Kin + Carta (KCT) has made its first digital transformation acquisition in the form of Colorado-based Spire. The initial payment is $14.8m with a further performance-based payment next February and another after that. The company has raised £13.6m at 89p a share.
Specialist Fund Market-quoted Marwyn Value Investors Ltd (MVI) is returning £5.31m to realisation shareholders. That includes £5.28m from the takeover of BCA Marketplace and a small amount of liquidation proceeds from Gloo Networks. There will be a pro rata redemption of realisation shares. The shares will go ex-redemption on 6 December.
Andrew Hore

Alan Green talks Armadale Capital #ACP, Destiny Pharma #DEST & LPA Group #LPA on Vox Markets podcast

Alan Green discusses Armadale Capital #ACP, Destiny Pharma #DEST & LPA Group #LPA with Justin Waite on the Vox Markets podcast. We also talk about Maddi’s Butterflies Children’s Cancer Charity Caravan appeal.

To donate to Maddi’s Butterflies Children’s Cancer Charity Caravan Appeal, click here.

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 18 November 2019


Trading in the shares of Barkby Group (BARK) has been suspended ahead of further information about a proposed reverse takeover. The acquisition of a group of companies referred to as the Dickson controlled entities is expected to cost £30m, predominantly paid in shares. There will also be a share placing to provide working capital for the enlarged group. Charles Dickson would become executive chairman if the deal goes ahead. The businesses include Workshop Coffee, which operates four coffee shops and is a wholesaler of speciality coffee, a commercial property developer. Barkby will also acquire the right to invest in two private companies: Transcend Packaging, which won a contract to supply McDonalds with paper straws, and VivoPlex, which has developed a medical device for fertility monitoring.

Brewer and pubs operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) says fears that interest rates will fall has required a £4m increase in the provision for its interest rate swaps. That is a non-cash item and underlying pre-tax profit increased from £5.6m to £6.2m in the six months to September 2019. That figure also excludes a quadrupling of property disposal profit to £800,000. Interim revenues improved 7% to £53.4m. The new brewery is operating at full capacity, while there was a small increase in like-for-like pub revenues. The contribution from hotels improved. Net debt was reduced by £8.6m to £61.6m compared with 12 months before, although £22.5m has been reclassified as due within one year. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share.

NEX and AIM-quoted AFH Financial (AFHP) says it is trading in line with forecasts. The wealth manager will report underlying EBITDA of more than £17m, up from £10.4m, in the year to October 2019. Funds under management were £6bn. The contribution from acquisitions has been earnings enhancing. The total dividend is expected to be 8p a share and this is expected to rise by one-quarter to 10p a share in 2019-20. There was still £11.9m in the bank at the end of October 2019, although there is estimated to be £32.2m of contingent consideration and a £15m convertible loan in the balance sheet. The current focus is on organic growth and there should be enough cash generated, along with the current balance, to pay the deferred consideration over the next two years.

Ashley House (LSE: ASH) has published a trading statement and it is changing its year end from April to October following the disposal of the Morgan Ashley joint venture. In the 12 months to April 2019, revenues fell from £18.5m to £11.9m and a pre-tax profit of £805,000 was turned into a £2.95m loss. There was a loss contributed by joint ventures. Net debt was £1.8m.

Clinical support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) is considering a move to AIM. This would be part of a potential fundraising to enable further investment in the business. DXS has already announced that it has been awarded a place on the NHS GPIT Futures framework from the beginning of 2020. This replaces the GPSoC2 framework and means that systems and services will be able to be bought centrally rather than with GP funds. The focus will be on the existing core product DXS Point of Care, analytics and reporting service CompleteCare, digital medicines service ExpertCare and condition management platform MyVytalCare. The first is already on sale and the rest will be launched in early 2020. DXS is gaining final approvals for its four solutions to be listed in the NHS catalogue.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £160,000 at 0.1p a share. This cash will be invested in additional shares in Apollon Formularies, which will take the company’s stake to 2.68%.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) believes that the lack of flotations is providing it with more opportunities. Primorus has received the £275,000 it was owed by Zuuse and still owns 57,205 shares and holds options over one million shares at A$0.50 (26p) each. The latest fundraising by Zuuse is at A$1 a share. There is a potential market to sell the shares even before a flotation.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) shareholder Formation Group has appointed Andrew Bennett as a non-executive director of the proton beam therapy firm.

David Lenigas has been appointed chairman of NQ Minerals (NQMI) and the board is in talks to replace existing debt with lower-cost debt. First Sentinel, which is run by former NQ Minerals director, has been appointed as corporate adviser.

Block Commodities (BLCC) has raised £388,000 from an issue of convertible loan notes and shares. This is less than the company wanted to raise more than six months ago. The share issue raised £133,000 at 0.02p a share, with a warrant exercisable at the same price, and the conversion of the loan notes will also be at the same price. The cash will be used to move into the medicinal cannabis sector. Additional shares are being issued to pay creditors.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 246.47p a share at the end of October 2019.

One hundred shares in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) will be consolidated into one new share on 18 November.

Karoo Energy has changed its name to IamFire (FIRE).

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) will leave NEX on 28 November.


DBAY Advisors does not intend to bid for Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) and instead will acquire 51% of the underlying subsidiary that owns the transport operations. The poor financial situation of the business led to the change of strategy and Eddie Stobart Logistics has recommended the deal, which involves the injection of £55m of additional finance through a PIK Facility. This will pay off a £35m loan and provide working capital. The deal requires the extension of other existing debt facilities. The interim results to May 2019 are still being compiled. An operating loss of at least £12m is expected, but the underlying business could make a full year operating profit of up to £2m. There could be a goodwill write-down of £50m. Net debt will be around £200m. Wincanton (WIN) is still considering a rival deal.

ECO Animal Health (EAH) is still suffering the after effects of the African Swine Flu outbreak in China and the US/China trade war hitting imports from the US. First half revenues from China fell by three-fifths. Restocking will take time to flow through in terms of FCO’s results. There will be a sharp fall in full year profit. The interims could also be affected by accounting policy changes.

Advanced surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has been selected to coat parts for the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. This is an important step in building up business in the aerospace sector. The Hardide-A coating will replace HVOF thermal spray coatings. HVOF is one of the most widely used coatings in aerospace and Hardide-A is said to be technically superior. Hardide has also been awarded a patent for a water droplet erosion resistant coating for blades and vanes, including those used on steam and gas turbines for power generation. A field test is planned.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that a test production run is planned later this month by 85%-owned Future Metal at its quarry in China. The plan is to restart production by the end of the year. This will help to underpin the Adamas NAV and provide potential upside. At the end of September 2019, NAV was 84p a share, which is more than three times the share price. Future Metal is 45.2% of that NAV and when the quarry is up and running then Adamas could raise cash by selling some of its stake. Cash is required to invest in new opportunities that are being presented to the company. Adamas issued 16.18 million shares at 34.8p each for its equity investment in Infinity TNP.

Safestay (SSTY) has bought the Hotel Auberge in Berlin, which is near to Berlin zoo, and intends to turn it into a 150-bed hostel. The site has an eleven year lease. This is the latest acquisition this year and it takes the total number of hostel sites to 18. The plan is to have 20 hostels by 2020.


PureCircle Ltd (PURE) chief executive Magomet Malsagov has stood aside temporarily pending further investigation of the classification of the stevia sweeteners supplier’s inventory and other transactions. The investigations have identified that inventory was $23m too high. Other transactions could lead to additional valuation changes. There could be write downs of intangibles and inventories. There should not be any increase in net debt, although the figures are still not fully audited. Bank covenants may need to be waived. Finance director Rakesh Sinha had previously resigned, although he remains with the company until the end of January.

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is seeking a buyer. Management believes the company needs to be part of a larger group with greater financial resources.

Andrew Hore

I would like to receive Brand Communications updates and news...
Free Stock Updates & News
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 3.000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn how to optimize your blog for search engines, find free traffic, and monetize your website.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.