Politics

Equatorial Palm Oil rises as market applauds non-exec appointment to board

Equatorial Palm Oil PLC (LON:PAL) rose by one-sixth to 0.7p after it announced changes to the composition of its board.

Teh Kwan Wey has joined as a non-executive director with immediate effect while Patrick Kee Chuan Peng and Yap Miow Kien have left the board.

The new addition to the board is currently the General Manager (Corporate) of Kuala Lumpur Kepon, Equatorial Palm Oils majority shareholder.

12.10pm: Light at the end of the tunnel for Melrose (if not for its laid-off employees)

Melrose Industries PLC (LON:MRO), up 13% at 113.45p, was the top riser among FTSE 100 companies on Thursday after it published its half-year report.

The holding company reported a large loss for the first half of 2020 and said it was making “significant” job cuts to its aerospace business even though trading has improved in recent months.

Statutory pre-tax losses swelled more than fourfold to £560mln for the owner of automotive and aerospace engineer GKN and ventilation and cooling specialist Nortek. Underlying operating profits shrank to £56mln from £541mln a year ago as revenue fell by 27% to £4.4bn.

11.15am: Mpac Group slides as its dividend is suspended

Mpac Group PLC (LON:MPAC) saw its share price unravel 12% to 277.5p after its half-year results.

The packaging and automation specialist saw revenue slump to £36.8mln in the first half of the year from £45.8mln in the same period of 2019, although management hailed this as a “resilient performance” given the constraints on its activity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Underlying profit before tax, which excludes what the company regards as one-off items, plunged to £2.5mln from £4.5mln the year before. The board has opted not to pay an interim dividend.

10.30am: Revolution gives thanks to Eat Out to Help Out

Revolution Bars Group PLC (LON:RBG) shares rose 7.8% to 15.625p after a trading update that had some glimmers of optimis,

The bars and eateries operator reported that trading following the reopening of some of its bars has been ahead of its expectations, boosted partly by the UK governments Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme in August.

In a trading update for the period following the first reopening of its bars on July 6, 2020, the company reported that comparable venue sales in the eight weeks to August 29 were 72.5% of the prior year.

9.30am: Miners tertiary and Orosur on the up

Tertiary Minerals PLC (LON:TYM) was Londons top riser on Thursday morning, adding 45% to 0.385p after news concerning assets where it has royalty interests.

Canadian company Aurion Resources announced yesterday that it has mobilised two drill rigs to test various gold targets in Finland, including the Kaaresselkä Project in Finland.

Tertiary sold the Kaaresselkä Project, together with the nearby Kiekerömaa Project to Aurion in March 2017 but retains some royalty interests in the projects.

Elsewhere in the mining sector, Orosur Mining PLC (LON:OMI) was 22% higher at 6.1p on the back of news about the receipt of a final cash payment from Newmont Corporation.

Newmont Colombia, a subsidiary of NYSE-listed mining giant Newmont, has indicated that it intends to continue to exercise its rights and obligations with regard to the Anzá gold project in Colombia and as such has paid the fourth and final cash payment of US$500,000 to Orosur.

The Anzá Project is currently wholly owned by Orosur.

Proactive news headlines:

CMC Markets PLC (LON:CMCX) has lifted market guidance again, with current year net operating income expected to be ahead of the current market consensus. The trading platform operator issued a trading update covering the period since July 1 in which it said the consistently strong performance across the business had continued, with the net income operating income run rate running only slightly below the preceding three months – the first quarter of CMCs fiscal year – when volatility was running high as a result of uncertainty caused by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Client income has continued to exceed the corresponding period of 2019 while client income retention has remained well above the guidance of more than 80%. The stockbroking business also continues to perform strongly.

Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) is expanding its licensing agreement with vaccine groups Saiba and DeepVax in a move that will take it into oncology. The move builds on a collaboration in the area of virus-like particle (VLP) technology that has seen the UK group develop a peanut allergy candidate which has shown early promise. The plan is to expand the tie-up to target solid cancer tumours, atopic dermatitis, asthma, and psoriasis.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) said it has agreed distribution deals with three leading global broadcasters, alongside its partner Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management (ADMM), for the new V10 R-League virtual racing competition, the first championship in a global racing series partnership between the two firms. Under the agreements, the V10 R-League will be available on BT Sport, ESPN and STARZPLAY Arabia, while highlights will be broadcast across team and talent channels in a distribution plan covering both broadcast and digital formats. BT Sport and STARZPLAY Arabia have signed multi-year commercial agreements for exclusive rights in the UK & Ireland and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions respectively, while ESPNs agreement means season one and two of the V10 R-League will be broadcast in the US and made available in Canada, Latin America, the Netherlands, the Caribbean and Oceania.

Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH) has highlighted progress in the development of a coronavirus test by its investee company Paraytec and the University of Sheffield. The investment group said having previously completed work packages relating to the construction of a viral mimic and the capture SYSTEM for the test, Paraytecs development of a signal generation module, which contains a synthetic coronavirus binding protein molecule bonded to fluorescent nanospheres, has now been completed. Meanwhile, Braveheart said work has been initiated and continues to progress on building an optical detection system, which is used to detect and quantify the fluorescent nanospheres that bind the CAPTURE Module in the presence of the virus.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) said an approach to managing lung cancer that uses the EarlyCDT Lung test pioneered by the group has been deemed “highly cost-effective” by healthcare economists. The study, led by academics from Leeds University, assessed the treatment of people with indeterminate pulmonary nodules (IPNs). It looked at the deployment of the £70 Oncimmune blood test in combination with computed tomography and compared it with using the CT scans on their own. Not only did the approach have a “positive impact on the outcomes of those patients observed”, but it also provided a cost-effective method of managing patients.

Curtis Banks Group PLC (LON:CBP) said its recurring fee model has protected its business against the worst of the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) plan provider said revenue in the first half of 2020 was unchanged from a year earlier at £24.5mln. Adjusted profit before tax nudged up by 0.6% to £6.3mln from £6.2mln in the first half of 2019.

Shanta Gold PLC (LON:SHG) has provided investors with a pair of updates which together bolster the New Luika gold mine, where production and exploration activities are ongoing. The AIM-quoted gold firm has confirmed it has total group-wide mining reserves of 653,000 ounces plus 3.2mln ounces of total resources. Shanta noted that this marks as its highest ever reserves and resources and that the company has a proven track record of delivering low-cost programmes to replace mined ounces. Meanwhile, in a separate update, Shanta said the ongoing 2020 exploration drilling programme at New Luika has loaded some 75,000 ounces of new gold resources into the inventory.

IQGeo Group Plc (LON:IQG) said it has won an US$800,000 (£600,000) new contract for software licences and services with a large tier 1 telecoms network operator. The contract comprises a software licence subscription to be recognised over the next three years and certain implementation services to be recognised over the next two years. The customer will be using the IQGeo Platform and Workflow Management software to improve construction process efficiency and productivity to support a major investment in expanding its fibre network infrastructure.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) shares will be included in the FTSE 250 index following the latest reshuffle of the index which takes place later this month. Chief executive Rusty Hutson said he expects it will further increase DGOC's market exposure and it will broaden the companys investor base. The profitable, dividend-paying America-focused gas and oil producer has risen in prominence in recent years driven by a series of transactions that consolidate portfolios of established fields in the Appalachia basin, across states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Deltic Energy PLCs (LON:DELT) interim results highlighted a strong balance sheet, with £12.8mln of cash at the end of June 2020, and confirmed that its North Sea venture with Shell remains on-track. The partners are committed to meeting the licence terms for the P2252 asset, which primarily includes the Pensacola prospect, and that would see a contingent well commitment become firm by December 2020. A Pensacola well could come as soon as next year.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) has reported higher revenues and mining margins in the month of August, highlighting a continued strong performance in the price of Bitcoin. In a monthly update, the cryptocurrency miner reported revenues of £1.49mln in August, up from £1.25mln in July, while its average monthly mining margin rose to 44% from 34% month-on-month. The company said it had mined 166 Bitcoin and Bitcoin equivalent during the month compared to 165 in July, which it attributed to “minor fluctuations in mining difficulty throughout August”. However, Argo saidRead More – Source

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