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Most people try to avoid Covid-19. But thousands are signing up to be deliberately exposed – CNN

By Mick KreverPhil Black and Cristiana Moisescu,

London (CNN) – As most of us obsess with avoiding Covid-19 at all costs, a rapidly growing group of people around the world say they are prepared to deliberately take on the virus.

Tens of thousands of people have signed up to a campaign by a group called 1 Day Sooner to take an experimental vaccine candidate and then face coronavirus in a controlled setting. 

Among them is Estefania Hidalgo, 32, a photography student in Bristol, England, who works at a gas station to pay the bills. 

“I do night shifts there, and it can be very lonely,” she recalled on a sunny day near her home.

Passing those long lockdown hours with just podcasts to keep her company, she describes discovering the challenge trial movement — and hearing volunteers’ motivations — as a revelatory moment. 

“I was shaken,” she said. “No one should be left behind. Old people, poor people, people of color. Everyone just deserves to be healthy.”

“This was a way for me to take back control of the situation, to feel like I was in a less hopeless place, and a less hopeless world, and be like, OK, I can do this. To make it better, I chose not to be in fear.” 

So-called human challenge trials, while sometimes controversial, are nothing new. They have been used for cholera, typhoid, malaria, and even the common cold. But unlike for those diseases, we do not yet have a completely effective treatment for Covid-19, should the experimental vaccine fail. 

Volunteers in challenge trials are typically compensated for their time and participation, experts say, but organizers must be careful not to pay an amount that could edge on coercive. Critics also say that challenge trials have limited use because the young, healthy people who take part don’t represent the broader population. 

Full CNN article here

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Ananda Developments (ANA) is amending its investing strategy and acquiring Tiamat Agriculture, which is applying for a UK controlled drug cannabis cultivation and supply licence.  Anglia Salads and JEPCO will provide cannabis growing expertise. The new investing strategy will include the cultivation of medicinal cannabis. URA Holdings will subscribe £400,000 for shares at 0.45p each.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £1m at 0.1p a share and the cash will be used to acquire a 2.34% stake in Apollon Formularies Ltd. AfriAg hopes to gain first refusal to acquire the rest of Apollon in a transaction that would value the company at £40m.

Good Energy (GOOD) will redeem the first Good Energy Bond, which was launched in 2013, before the end of June. The outstanding principal is £3.6m and the cash for repayment will come from the disposals of Newton Downs and Brynwhilach solar farms to the local communities. The cash helped to develop nearly 150MW of renewable generation projects.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that gold recoveries in Honduras have been low and it is considering whether to sell to the joint venture partner or take full control of the operations. Gold trading volumes are increasing but the contribution to overheads is modest.

Panther Minerals (PALM) has applied for an exploration licence for the Marrakai gold project in Northern Territory, Australia. Panther has also acquired additional ground surrounding the former Little Bear mine in Ontario, Canada.

Formation Group (FORM) reported a reduced loss in the six months to February 2019. There is £3.05m in cash in the balance sheet.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is investing up to £150,000 in convertible loan notes in ASSIF, which is developing a digital product to improve mental health. The first tranche has been drawn down and the rest will be invested when design work is completed. The loan notes are convertible into up to 35% of ASSIF, depending on the milestones achieved prior to conversion.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has shipped 34,500 tonnes of precious metal pyrite concentrate from the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania.

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has started offering high energy proton beam therapy in Bomarsund in Northumberland.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) non-executive director Dominic Burke has nearly doubled his shareholding to 2.8%. Tim Syder increased his stake to 3.1%.

V22 (V22O) will leave NEX at the close of business on 31 May.

AIM  

SafeCharge International (SCH) is recommending a $5.55 (436p) a share cash offer from a subsidiary of fellow payment services provider Nuvei Corporation, valuing the company at £699m. The final dividend of 7.22p a share will be paid. The international payments processor joined AIM five years ago at 162p a share. Nuvei has a strong market position in North America and SafeCharge provides scale in Europe.

Trading in the shares of LXB Retail Properties (LXB) has been suspended following court approval of the dissolution of the company and a return of capital of 1.2p a share. The cancellation of the quotation will happen on 31 May.

Volvere (VLE) has sold its oldest subsidiary Sira Defence and Security for £3m, although management bonuses of £320,000 will be paid out of the proceeds. Sira cost a nominal amount and has contributed cash to the group. This leaves 80%-owned frozen pies maker Shire Foods, which increased its full year pre-tax profit from £635,000 to £854,000. Even stripping out incentive payments relating to the sale of the Impetus business, Shire hardly makes enough profit to cover central overheads.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) has confirmed that its full year revenues will be at least £102m and EBITDA at least £19m, an increase of 15%. The growth is a combination of acquisitive and organic. Knights Group (KGH) says that its full year revenues will be not less than £52.4m and underlying pre-tax profit will be ahead of expectations at £9.7m.

Argentina-focused oil and gas producer President Energy (PPC) increased revenues by 160% to $47.2m in 2018 and this enabled it to move into profit. This year pre-tax profit is set to improve from $3.5m to $17.3m as last year’s acquisition makes a more significant contribution and capital investment starts to pay back. Average production is expected to be 3,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019.

Science Group (SAG) has taken a 9% stake in digital radio technology developer Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at 12.5p a share. Science offered to acquire the whole company via a cash bid of 30p a share but the proposal met with a negative response from the target’s board and the offer has been withdrawn.

Caledonian Trust (CNN) has renegotiated the conditions of the proposed sale of St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh, which was announced in February 2018. The buyer is still in the process of applying for planning consent and it has three months in which to submit the application, plus 12 months to secure consent. A further three months will be allowed to find a pre-let and Caledonia will vacate the property six months after that. This means that it could be two years before the transaction is completed. The consideration is still £15m, compared with a book value of £8m.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has received a £300,000 investment at 1.2p a share and appointed Colin Harrington to the board as executive chairman. Origin Creek Energy has a 14.8% shareholding following the share issue. This replaces the previously announced subscription at a lower share price and Robert Bensh has left the board because of that.

Kibo Energy (KIBO) says that 60%-owned flexible power generation development subsidiary MAST Energy Developments is acquiring Bordersley Power Ltd, which is developing a 5MW gas-fuelled power generation plant and relevant grid connections. The deal is dependent on certain conditions.

Cellcast (CLTV) is owed £453,000 by a Kenyan client of its gaming and lottery consultancy activities, which generated revenues of £395,000 in 2018. The government in Kenya is cracking down on advertising of gambling and it had previously raised taxation rates. Cellcast had £698,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Dublin-based Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has been suspended ahead of the proposed all share acquisition of the larger Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, which is a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed Novelion Therapeutics Inc. Amryt plans to raise $60m from a share issue.

MAIN MARKET 

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) has made a non-binding offer for Entertainment AI Inc although it is still subject to due diligence on the artificial intelligence and machine learning company. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

LED lighting supplier Luceco (LUCE) says trading continues to improve even though sales to UK professional customers are subdued. The overseas market is stronger. Margins are improving.

Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) says that profit from its core business has improved so far this year. The property bridging lending business has increased its loan book to £22m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 2 April 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Sativa Investments (SAPI) joined NEX on 29 March after raising £1.1m at 1p a share. The share price has already reached 3.125p. Sativa has £1.5m in cash that it can invest in businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The initial focus is Canada.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) reported a slight reduction in NAV to 41.5p a share at the end of February 2018. The portfolio includes 17 unquoted employee owned businesses with a value of £5.24m.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has entered into a three-year, $10m loan facility with a US private equity firm and this will be used to develop the Hellyer mine. The facility has a 12% annual interest charge and it is secured on the company’s assets. NQ has entered into a silver purchase deed with the finance provider and has to sell them 30% of the first 8 million ounces recovered from the Hellyer mine and 10% of the payable silver for the lifetime of mine. The price will be the lower of $6/ounce or 80% of market price.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Human Brands is acquiring a 10% stake in wine and spirits distributor Milestone Beverages HK Ltd, which can help to increase the distribution coverage of the investee company’s drinks brands. Gunsynd owns 6.18% of Brazil Tungsten Holdings, which has been forced to suspend operations after a fatal accident. The investment is currently valued at £500,000.

Welney (WENP) made a broadly similar interim loss of £37,000 and it has net liabilities of £234,000.

Block Commodities (BLOC) has reduced its interim loss from $1.19m to $782,000.

Angelfish Investments (ANGP) has reached agreement with 4Navitas, which will make a payment to cover the majority of costs incurred when Angelfish was trying to negotiate a joint venture agreement.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has raised £50,000 at 0.06p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has sold 50% of its stake in Pharmacy 2U, for double its cost, at the same time as the digital pharmacy services provider raised £40m of new cash.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has extended the closing date of the one-for-four open offer to raise up to £1.05m at 94p a share from 26 March to 30 April.

AIM   

MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) slipped out its interim figures at 5.32pm after the market had closed for Easter. They show near-doubled cash outflow from operating activities of $2.22m. There was $68,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. Management is hopeful that the $218,000 of trade receivables at the end of December 2017 can be collected by June. Since then, MySQUAR has issued £2.11m of convertible bonds at 90% of their face value to Atlas Capital Markets Ltd. There are also more than 20 million warrants exercisable at 3.15p a share. There is talk of an acquisition of a mobile payment services business.

Conviviality (CVR) is calling in administrators after a rescue fundraising failed to win the backing of investors.

Publisher Axel Springer is investing £125m in Purplebricks (PURP) and this will give it 11.9% of the estate agency. The shares are being acquired at 360p each and £25m worth of existing shares are being acquired from management. Full year revenues will double but a weak UK market, exacerbated by the weather and potentially by negative publicity. There was £51.7m in the bank at the end of February 2018. The additional cash will enable a faster roll-out in the US and entry into other markets.

Royal Bank of Scotland has bid 120p a share for FreeAgent (FREE) and that values the accounting software provider at £53m. The founders will take shares and have a 23.5% stake in the bid vehicle. FreeAgent floated 18 months ago at 84p a share. At the beginning of 2017, FreeAgent signed a deal with RBS, which offers the company’s SaaS-based software to small business customers. More than 10,000 customers have taken up the software.

Polarean Imaging (POLX) joined AIM on 29 March and raised £3m at 15p a share. Polarean has developed xenon gas-based technology that enables MRI scans to produce better images. Amphion Innovations (AMP) retains a 23.2% stake.

Polemos (PLMO) has withdrawn its general meeting resolutions. The placing and 100-for-one share consolidation will not go ahead for the time being. There could be an open offer and placing at the previously proposed price of 0.01p a share.

Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring 40% of an exploration licence, which has 13 outcropping tungsten deposits and one copper deposit and 100% of a prospective copper exploration licence. Thor is issuing A$550,000 of shares to Rox Resources in payment for these purchases. The 60%-owner of the first licence has the right to match the price offered.

Tracsis (TRCS) increased its interim profit by one-third to £2.4m as revenues grew by 18% to £18.1m. The software division increased its profit and there was a recovery in the traffic and data services division. There is more improvement to come from the latter division. The interim dividend is 17% higher at 0.7p a share. There is £18.5m in the bank. There will be a second half contribution from the rail sector delay repay businesses acquired in February. Progress is being made in selling remote condition monitoring technology in North America.

Internet gaming software supplier GAN (GAN) reported a reduced loss of £4.2m for 2017. There was £2.7m in the bank at the end of 2017 and since then has raised £2m via an unsecured 9% convertible loan note. There could be further fundraisings in order to make the most of the prospects for real money internet gaming in the US.

Inland Homes (INL) increased its adjusted EPRA NAV by 6% to 97.63p a share. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £4.95m to £5.37m. The interim dividend was raised 30% to 0.65p a share.  The landbank has been expanded to 7,372 plots.

Altona Energy (ANR) slightly increased its first half loss to £260,000 and there was £690,000 in the bank at the end of 2017. The current focus is conventional coal mining at the Arckaringa coal project in Australia. Altona is assessing less wet coal seams.

RM2 International (RM2) is raising £25.3m at 1p a share, just over 50% after a general meeting and the rest dependent on the reduction of operating costs and commercial launch of new technology, and converting preferred shares into 3.16 billion shares. There are also plans for an open offer to raise around £4.5m. The new cash will be used to retrofit existing pallets with ELIoT track and trace devices and produce new RM2 ELIoT pallets.  Former chief executive John Walsh has stepped down from the board, as has Frederic de Mevius. Woodford appears likely to end up owning around two-thirds of RM2. The second tranche is dependent on Woodford agreeing that key performance indicators have been met. Three members of RM2’s management will acquire shares in the placing via a reduction in their salaries over an 18 month period.

STM Group (STM) reported better than expected 2017 and this led to an upgrade for 2018. Last year’s pre-tax profit improved from £2.6m to £4m, helped by an increased provision release from the acquired life book. The underlying pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.2m to £4.2m in 2018.

Caledonian Trust (CNN) reported a NAV of 185.7p a share at the end of 2017. This was helped an increase in the valuation of St Margaret’s House, which is in the process of being sold.

The SimplyBiz Group provides regulatory and support services to financial advisers and is set to join AIM on 4 April.

Sosandar (SOS) has gained momentum since floating last year. The online women’s fashion retailer continues to lose money but the customer database has increased nearly ten-fold to 36,328.

NetScientific (NSCI) is running out of money and it needs more by the end of June. A placing and subscription will raise up to £6m at 52.5p a share. The cash will be used to provide additional financial backing for investee companies.

Manx Financial Services (MFX) has acquired Blue Star Business Solutions, which is a broker for IT equipment funding, for an initial £1.5m in cash. This could increase to up to £4m depending on performance.

Connemara Mining (CON) is focusing on three main areas: the Inishowen gold project in Donegal, the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford and multiple zinc exploration projects. The next exploration is at the 100%-owned Mine River gold project where high grade intersections will be targeted.

Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has increased the value of its investment properties by £1.63m to £30.1m in the year to March 2018. The NAV has increased by 100p a share to more than 770p a share.

Real Good Food (RGD) has agreed a loan note facility of up to £4m with three major shareholders. Longer-term, a share issue will be required.

Vernalis (VER) lost £37.6m in 2017, mainly down to exceptional write-downs and unrealised foreign exchange movements. There was £46m in the bank. US commercial activity should finish by the end of September and that will slow the ongoing cash outflow.

Kestrel has increased its stake in Pebble Beach Systems Group (PEB) from 15.2% to 16.6%. The share price has been on a downward trajectory and borrowings are significant but Kestrel must believe that the software company will survive.

Life science software provider Instem (INS) coupled its 2017 figures with a contract announcement for its SEND software. Revenues were 18% ahead at £21.7m, and that included organic growth of 5%, while pre-tax profit recovered from £500,000 to £1.9m. A further improvement to £2.7m is expected this year.

Feedback (FDBK) has raised £440,000 at 1.25p a share and it will invest in sales and marketing for the TexRAD and Cadran technology, as well as developing a clinical evidence base for TexRAD.

Oracle Power (ORCP) has raised £550,000 at 1.4p a share to provide cash for the company as it moves to financial close for the development of the Thar Block VI lignite coal mine and power plant in the Sindh province in Pakistan.

GoTech Group (GOT) plans to sell its Sportsdata business to Starnevesse for £1. The company was a shell prior to the acquisition of the business in May 2016 and it effectively became a shell again when it stopped supporting the business at the end of 2017. There is £566,000 in the bank and there will be a £100,000 cash payment as part of the settlement of indebtedness to Starnevesse.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed an agreement with Unimicro Technologies Inc, which will integrate Microsaic’s 4500 MiD mass spectrometry detector into its Capillary Electrophoresis instruments.

Collagen Solutions (COS) is restructuring its New Zealand operations. The plan is to focus on tissue collection and processing and then consolidate collagen production in Glasgow. Annual cost savings should be £200,000 and one-off costs will be £150,000.

Chris Akers has increased its stake in YOLO Leisure (YOLO) from 6.8% to 7.93%.

MAIN MARKET    

S&U Group (SUS) reported a one-fifth increase in pre-tax profit to £30.2m. The car finance provider achieved this despite a start-up loss from the bridging finance business Aspen. The total dividend for the year was increased from 91p a share to 105p a share. A rise in pre-tax profit to £35.8m is forecast for this year.

Book publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) slumped into loss in 2017, although the underlying pre-tax profit fell from $13.9m to $3.9m. Net debt was $64m. The year end is being changed to March.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) had NIS6.49m in the bank at the end of 2017 following its flotation. Bulk sampling results for the Kishon Mid-Reach gemstones project have been positive and the processing plant has been upgraded.

Path Investments (PATH) has postponed its exit from the standard list until further notice. The plan is to move to AIM when the proposed oil and gas asset acquisition is made but the timing remains uncertain.

North Midland Construction (NMD) reported a fall in profit in 2017 even though revenues increased from £250.5m to £291.8m. Pre-tax profit more than halved from £2.06m to £1m. That is because the loss on legacy contracts increased from £3.85m to £7.29m. The final dividend is unchanged at 3p a share even though the total dividend is one-third higher at 6p a share.

NCC (NCC) has sold its web performance business for £7.5m. The sale process for the software testing business is continuing.

Andrew Hore

 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE  

Good Energy (GOOD) has sold two operational 5MW solar farms in Devon and south Wales, plus further development rights, for £5.83m and £5.6m respectively. This should yield a profit of £750,000 on each solar farm. The south Wales site has additional land and development or sale of this land could yield an additional payment. Good will still acquire the energy from both sites.

OneLife Technologies Corp is acquiring One Media Enterprises Ltd, which has agreed to pay back the investment and loan made by Angelfish Investments (ANGP). There will also be management fees payable. This is dependent on the acquisition going ahead. In total, Angelfish will receive $1m in cash and 200,000 shares. Most of the investment has been written off, bar nearly $42,000, so the payment is nearly all profit.

BWA Group (BWAP) expects to be granted mining licences for the extraction of rutile sands in Cameroon. It would then enter an agreement with investee company Mineralfields Group, which would operate the mining concessions. BWA would increase its stake from 12% to 25%. BWA and its directors would own the majority of the shares. BWA has issued 8.37 million shares at 0.5p each in order to pay creditors of Mineralfields. BWA is also issuing £300,000 of 14% convertible unsecured loan stock 2020. The cash interest payment is 4% and the rest will be rolled up and the total loan converted into 36 million shares at 0.5p each.

Malcolm Burne has taken advantage of the sharp rise in the Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) share price to reduce his stake to below 3%. He owned 5.7 million shares in April. The share price reached 20p and has fallen back to 15p. Earlier this month, Coinsilium raised £720,000 at 9p a share.

AIM-quoted, spread betting business London Capital Group (LCG) has announced its intention to leave AIM having joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 15 December. Glio Holdings Ltd owns 78.1% of London Capital and it will vote in favour of the cancellation of the quotation.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had an NAV of 42.12p a share at the end of November 2017. The provider of capital to employee-owned businesses is switching its investments from debt to equity.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) reported an increased loss in the year to August 2017. Revenues declined from £290,000 to £226,000 and the loss rose from £262,000 to £330,000. An order from Italy was delayed and there were lower orders from London Underground. There was nearly £304,000 in cash at the end of August 2017. Wheelsure raised £630,000 last year. There have been initial orders for high speed rail infrastructure.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has invested in David Phillips Holdings, which supplies furniture and furnishing services to the UK property sector. The business is benefiting from the growth of the private rental sector.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £130,000 in a 9% convertible loan note in Human Brands, which supplies Copa Imperial Tequila and Shinju Whiskey. US-based Human Brands made a pre-tax profit of $90,000 on revenues of $1.04m.

Trading in the shares of China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) has been suspended because of issues with the annual returns for the Jersey Registry.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share. This will help to finance the acquisition of a property on the Black Sea coast. Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £70,000 of debenture stock.

AIM    

The TLA Worldwide Award for contempt for investors goes this year to Real Good Food (RGD) after it announced it requires substantially more cash at 1.04pm on 22 December. That is the last half day of trading before Christmas. The three main shareholders will subscribe for £3m of loan notes with an annual interest of 10%. This should be refinanced via a share or convertible issue. Net debt was £35.8m at the end of September 2017. Hugh Cawley will become an executive director. The interim loss was £6.66m. Food ingredients returned to profit, helped by the acquisition of Brighter Foods, but the performance of the other parts of the business slumped.

Golden Saint Resources (GSR) intends to change its business by acquiring EMS Wiring Systems for shares and selling the mining assets. Trading in the shares is suspended ahead of due diligence and a share consolidation. EMS is a profitable supplier and installer of cabling, WiFi, CCTV, displays and building management systems in Asia and it intends to expand in Africa and South America. The new name would be Golden Saint Technologies Ltd.

Cradle Arc has a 60% stake in a producing copper mine in Botswana and a gold development project in Zambia. The expected admission date to AIM is 10 January.

Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) was valued at £63.2m at its placing price of 62p. The in-video advertising technology company raised £24.2m net of expenses. Potential customers are expressing interest in the technology and the cash will finance an increasing rate of growth. In 2016, revenues were £700,000.

Antibody development services provider Fusion Antibodies (FAB) raised £5.5m at 82p a share and by the end of the week the share price had doubled. Belfast-based Fusion will invest in the expansion of laboratory space and additional sales and marketing.

Close-ended investment company CIP Merchant Capital Ltd (CIP) raised £55m at 100p a share prior to Christmas. CIP will focus on quoted companies with a market value of less than £500m that have good fundamentals, which need help to improve operational effectiveness or management support to enhance growth. There should also be potential for a future exit. No more than 20% of funds will be invested in an individual company.

Software supplier Pelatro (PTRO) raised £3.8m at 62.5p a share when it joined AIM on 19 December. That valued the company at £15.2m. The company’s mViva software is developed in India and used for marketing by telecommunications companies.

An introduction at 20p a share valued Panthera Resources (PAT) at £12.4m. The main asset is a 70% stake in the Bhukia gold project in India. The company’s share of the JORC inferred resource is 1.22 million ounces. There are also gold exploration assets in Burkina Faso and Mali.

Video games development services provider Sumo Group (SUMO) floated on 21 December at 100p a share and ended the week at 113.5p a share. Sumo raised £38.5m and it was valued at £145m at the placing price.

Fletcher King (FLK) reported a dip in revenues from £1.68m to £1.49m, while pre-tax profit declined from £163,000 to £148,000. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1p a share. There were lower revenues from rating appeals and valuations but one or two SHIPS properties should be fully-let and sold by the end of the financial year.

NWF Group (NWF) says that its feeds division is benefiting from the recovery in the milk price and past capital investment. The fuels division continues to make progress but food distribution performance has been below the first half of last year. The interims will be published on 30 January.

Online gaming firm Nektan (NKTN) is raising £1.76m at 21p a share. That was a one-fifth discount to the market price. There are £10m convertible loan notes 2020, where the conversion price is a 25% premium to the previous placing, so it is currently 26.25p a share. The cash will be invested in technology and geographic expansion. In the year to June 2017, Nektan more than doubled its net gaming revenues to £13.3m.

Telecoms infrastructure equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) expects a sharp fall in interim revenues from £21.6m to £12.8m and operating profit halved to £900,000. There have been delays in defence orders. Net cash was £2.9m at the end of November 2017. The interims will be published on 30 January.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that initial results from its drill programme at the Bougouni lithium project are expected very shortly. There was £4.09m of cash at the end of September 2017.

Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has completed core-hole drilling at two locations at the Lesedi project and a third hole will be completed early next year. Coal samples are being assessed. The results will help to plan the first phase of development drilling. The Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund has taken a 5.84% stake.

Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is raising up to £4.42m via a 2.250106-for-one open offer at 0.01p a share. That is a 92% discount to the market price and excess applications can be made. The cash is required for part pre-payment of $6m of loan notes issued to Odey Asset Management that carry an annual interest rate of 25%. That cash was used to finance a $6m mezzanine loan to the Oman antimony roaster project. First production should be in the second quarter of 2018. The cost of the project has increased from $96m to $110m. There should be £250,000 left for working capital for Tri-Star and $740,000 of loan notes still in issue. The first dividend from the Oman antimony roaster is expected for the year to December 2020.

Legendary Investments (LEG) has acquired a 9.7% stake in Crowd for Angels in return for 248.3 million Legendary shares at 0.145p each. Crowd for Angels intends to launch a £50m Liquid Crypto Bond. Legendary is swapping its interest in Manas Resources for a 2% stake in Circle Oil Tunisia, formerly a subsidiary of AIM-quoted Circle Oil, which has been liquidated. The stake in Manas was valued at £100,000.

Ambrian (AMBR) has failed to secure short-term financing or defer payment of interest on its convertible loan notes. Grant Thornton will be appointed as administrator. In October, a general meeting removed former chief executive Jean-Pierre Conrad as a director, having been given three months notice in August by subsidiary Ambrian Metals because he had lost the confidence of the board. Conrad was a large holder of convertibles. Ambrian has cement interests in Mozambique and there have been problems in moving cash.

Kromek (KRK) is on course to achieve full year revenues of £12.5m. This is without any contribution from the framework contract from the US authorities for radiation detector systems, which could be important in the future. There should be £14m of cash left by the end of the financial year.

Uranium Resources (URA) has sold its mining assets and is changing its name to URA Holdings. Melissa Sturgess and Peter Redmond have joined the board and £900,000 raised at 0.45p a share.

Redhall Group (RHL) says that its subsidiary Jordan Manufacturing has won business for specialist handling and containment systems for nuclear material at Sellafield. This could be worth £18m over three years.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) is acquiring up to 49.9% of the Tesorillo gas project in southern Spain. The purchase is in three stages and will cost €2.05m in total.

Problems with labelling in China have held up the fulfilment of demand by Concepta (CPT) for its fertility products. This means that 2017 revenues will be around £100,000 and sales delayed until the first quarter of 2018.

Integumen (SKIN) has raised £500,000 at 1.5p a share. This will help to fund the recently acquired Stoer range of male cosmetics and the commercialisation of the Visible Youth cosmeceutical range. Management is assessing all the group product lines because some are taking longer to generate significant revenues. Integumen intends to set up a joint venture to distribute Champion Shave products in the UK and Ireland.

The One Media iP (OMIP) share price more than doubled to 10p following the news that Lord Michael Grade and former Pinewood boss Ivan Dunleavy are joining the board as non-executives. They are also investing £375,000 at 2.5p a share.

Cross-border payments technology provider Earthport (EPO) says that 2017-18 revenues could be up to 15% lower than expected due to contract delays and a change in strategy by a client. Cash flow breakeven is still achievable during 2018-19. Hank Uberoi is moving from chief executive to executive chairman and a permanent replacement as chief executive has yet to be found.

Escape the Room experiences provider Escape Hunt (ESC) is adapting its strategy to focus on city centre sites. Five leases have been signed and three are being negotiated.

The People’s Operator (TPOP) has successfully raised £2.82m at 0.1p a share. Aidan O’Hara acquired an 8.78% stake prior to the placing. Trading in the shares has been suspended because of concerns over trading prior to the completion of the placing.

A €51 a share cash bid has been recommended by Taliesin Property Fund Ltd (TPF) and this values the company at €260m. The bid enables investors to liquidate their holding in the Berlin property investor at a premium to NAV. Taliesin floated in 2006 at €10 a share.

West African Mineral (WAFM) is disposing of its iron assets through a share distribution of the company holding the assets to its shareholders. They will receive one share in Ferrum Resources Ltd for each West African Mineral share they own. A general meeting will be held on 18 January to agree to the plan. Loans to Ferrum have already been written off but a sale of the assets could spark all or part of the repayment of the $4m loan. West African Minerals will have £2.1m in the bank and it wants to move to the standard list and seek life sciences acquisitions. The company will change its name to OKYO Pharma Corporation.

Property investor Caledonian Trust (CNN) increased its NAV from 152.9p a share to 161.7p a share in the year to June 2017.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) will receive a total of $1.46m in dividends from two subsidiaries. One of these subsidiaries is part of the previously announced disposals that should generate $400,000.

All bar one of the directors of BOS Global Holdings (BOS) has left the board. Trading in BOS shares has been suspended because of the uncertainty of its financial position and because the annual report has not been published.

MAIN MARKET  

Contango Holdings (CGO) is moving ahead with the possible acquisition of Consolidated Growth Holdings’ interest in a near-term producing mining asset in Zimbabwe. The purchase would be funded at 5p a share, which is a 33% premium to the suspension price. Contango hopes to complete the reverse takeover by the first quarter of 2018. Contango floated on the standard list on 1 December.

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has joined the standard list. The Israel-based gemstones explorer raised £4.15m at 110p a share and was valued at £15.3m on flotation. The cash will be used to fund further exploration of the Kishon Mid Reach project and production could commence within 24 months.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) reported an interim loss of £113,000 due to the costs of being a listed company. There was £230,000 in the bank at the end of October 2017. Supported living property developer Dukemount has completed a 50-year agreement to lease on the first property it acquired with a supported living housing association. This should generate £234,000 a year and is linked to CPI. It will take 18 months to complete the development but institutions may acquire the lease before then. A second project has also been secured with more under negotiation.

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has raised a further £170,000 at 5p a unit. The unit is one ordinary share and 0.5 of a warrant exercisable at 7.5p a share. The current NAV is 4.2p a share. SI Capital has been appointed as joint broker.

Standard list shell Fandango Holdings (FHP) still had £468,000 in the bank at the end of August 2017. There is currently no industrial or services acquisition under consideration.

Avocet Mining (AVM) has agreed the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. There will be $2.5m paid on completion and the rest will be deferred over seven years. Avocet will have no trading business. Given Avocet’s debt, if it is wound up there will be little or nothing for shareholders.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has returned from suspension following publication of its annual report. Chief executive Colin Patterson says he will fund the Gubong gold project through to the completion of the report on feasibility. He and fellow director Aidan Bishop are taking their remuneration in shares.

Andrew Hore

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