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Metals Exploration slides as it is granted third payments waiver

A look at some of the biggest risers and fallers in London on Friday
British pound
The waiver covers US$20.3mln worth of capital payments

Metals Exploration Plc (LON:MTL) saw its shares slide 3.7% to 3.2p in late-afternoon trading after it was granted a third payment waiver from its creditors.

The AIM-listed miner said its senior lenders, HSBC Ltd and BNP Paribas had consented to the waiver, which covers US$20.3mln worth of capital payments in December 2017, March, and June.

The waiver follows two previous waivers that were granted in December and March.

Meanwhile, shares in Talktalk Telecom Group PLC (LON:TALK) dropped 7.9% to 99.1p after the company said it had ditched a plan to sell its direct business-to-business (b2b) unit to Daisy Group.

The company did not provide a reason but said it would continue to manage all direct business for the division, providing “uninterrupted services for customers”.

“Daisy remains an important, long-term strategic partner for TalkTalk,” it added.

In the risers, PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE) shares jumped 5.2% to 0.5p after what it said was a transformation in its technical capabilities and an increase in activity in terms of partnership establishment, organisational development and financial restructuring in 2017.

The AIM-listed waste-to-power company said its DMG System and the hydrogen-from-water process is well on its way to becoming a significant part of the hydrogen economy and the distributed electrical grid.

1.00pm: Urals Energy jumps on reserves upgrade

Urals Energy Public Company Limited (LON:UEN) shares jumped 5.2% to 100p after it reported an increase in reserves at Petrosakh's Okruzhnoye licence.

The AIM-listed oil and gas producer said the remaining 1P proved resources for the licence had been increased to 2.9mln from 1.1mln barrels due to a redefinition of reserves between proven reserves and probable reserves.

Meanwhile, shares in Reach PLC (LON:RCH), formerly known as Trinity Mirror, were up 3.1% at 78.4p after a trading update in which it said it expects full-year trading to be in line with expectations. It also upped its provisions for settlements stemming from the phone hacking scandal.

The media group said it expected revenue for the 2018 financial year to grow by 11% year-on-year as a result of the acquisition of the Daily Express and Daily Star from Northern & Shell in February, however on a like-for-like basis, revenue was expected to decline 8%, with publishing falling 8% and print by 10%.

The outlier was the company’s digital arm, which was forecast to grow by 1% in the year.

The firm also said that, due to claimant’s lawyer’s fees being higher than expected, it was setting aside an extra £7.5mln for the settlement of legal disputes relating to phone hacking.

Elsewhere, Kibo Mining PLC (LON:KIBO) shares rose 3.8% to 4.1p after it announced that it has reached the final phase of discussions regarding the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP) with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO).

The AIM-listed energy company said it has submitted a reformatted Integral Bankable Feasibility Study (IBFS) and in accordance with the PPA-process, reached the final phase of discussions.

11.00am: Origo Partners shares collapse as majority of assets written down to zero

Origo Partners LC (LON:OPP) shares plummeted 63.6% to 0.2p in mid-morning trading after the investment group reported a massive drop in its net asset value (NAV).

The firm reported that its NAV for the end of 2017 was US$14.1mln, nearly 70% less than its 2016 NAV of US$46mln after three of its investments totalling US$53.7mln in value dropped to zero.In the FTSE 250, shares in Serco PLC (LON:SRP) fell 4% to 96.8p as it maintained its 2018 profit forecast on Friday but lowered its revenue guidance range, saying market conditions “are less than ideal, particularly in the UK”.

The British outsourcer now expects revenues for the year of £2.7bn to £2.8bn, compared to the £2.8bn to £2.9bn range previously reported.

The company continues to predict underlying trading profit of £80mln, boosted by cost savings under a five-year restructuring plan.

In the risers, Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) shares soared 30.2% to 125p as trading in the stock resumed after news it has raised US$250mln via an oversubscribed placing priced at 97p per share to part fund the recently announced US$575mln acquisition of additional assets in the Appalachian Basin.

The AIM-listed, US-based gas and oil producer, which had its shares suspended at 96p each when the massive deal was first unveiled on 14 June, said based on the placing price, its new market capitalisation is expected to be approximately US$648.7mln (£491.6mln).

9.15am: Fastjet rockets as it proposes placing to raise US$10mln

Fastjet PLC (LON:FJET) saw its shares rocket 138.4% to 7.75p in early morning trading after it announced a proposed placing at a 146% premium to its last closing price.

The AIM-listed African budget airline said the capital raise would comprise an accelerated bookbuild to raise US$7mln, a US$3mln share subscription by Solenta Aviation Holdings Limited, and an open offer to qualifying share holders to raise £1.6mln at the placing price of 8p per share.

The jump follows a massive fall in the shares on Wednesday when the group said it could go bust if shareholders didn’t stump up some more money.

Meanwhile, shares in Action Hotels PLC (LON:AHCG) jumped 31.2% to 21p as the hotels group focused on the Middle East and Australasia, looked set to go private.

The group said an agreement has been reached on the terms of a possible cash offer of 24p a share, a hefty premium on the last close of 16p, with Action Group Holdings.

In the FTSE 100, BAE Systems PLC (LON:BA.) shares rose 3% to 651p after it landed a A$35bn (£20bn) contract to build frigates for the Australian navy, the UK defence company confirmed on Friday.

The group beat rival bids from Italy’s Fincantieri and Spain’s Navantia for the contract.

Under the agreement, BAE will design and build nine Hunter class frigates for the Australian navy, replacing the current Anzac class frigates.

Elsewhere, shares in infrastructure investor John Laing Group PLC (LON:JLG) moved up 1.8% to 269p after the company said it continues to expect to spend £250mln on investments in 2018, having identified a “strong pipeline” of opportunities.

Chief executive Olivier Brousse said the company has the financial flexibility to take advantage of investment opportunities following a £210mln rights issue in May and the sale of its stake in Phase 1 of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

Proactive news headlines:

Action Hotels PLC (LON:AHCG) looks set to go private with two existing directors backing a group that has made an indicative cash offer 50% above last night's closing share price.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) shares soared 30% higher on Friday as trading in the stock resumed after news it has raised US$250mln via an oversubscribed placing priced at 97p per share to part fund the recently announced US$575mln acquisition of additional assets in the Appalachian Basin.

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) has said that 2017 was a year of delivery for the company as it has implemented a wide-ranging optimisation and expansion strategy to provide long-term sustainable production growth at Gedabek contract area.

AppScatter Group PLC’s (LON:APPS) chairman Clive Carver will chart the progress made by the app monitoring service over the past year at its annual general meeting later today. The AIM-quoted firm also confirmed that finance director Manish Kotecha has stepped down to pursue other business interests.

Highlands Natural Resources PLC (LON:HNR) has reported high nitrogen purity levels from tests at its Barret 1-14B well in Kansas. The AIM-listed oil and gas producer said flow tests had indicated initial nitrogen purity levels of over 99.59%, above purity levels for nitrogen used as a preserving agent by food and beverage companies and could therefore be used by this industry immediately.

Kibo Mining PLC (LON:KIBO) has issued a rebuke to press speculation around the status of its negotiations with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) over the development of the Mbeya Coal to Power Project.

Strat Aero PLC (LON:AERO) has announced that strong new business prospects at Geocurve Limited and Gyrometric Systems Limited allow the board to look forward to the future with optimism.

A new basin modelling study commissioned by Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) has suggested the possibility of a “potentially significant oil play” at its Anoual permit area in eastern Morocco.

Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) has announced that 2017 was a transformational year, which saw the company ‘significantly progress’ the development of each of its platforms.

ECR Minerals PLC (LON:ECR) reported a narrowed loss in its half-year results as it turned its focus squarely on projects in the Australian state of Victoria.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU), the exploration and development company operating in Turkey, has said it continues to expect its gold production figures for the full year “to be in line with expectations.”

Itaconix PLC (LON:ITX) has had trading in its shares suspended on AIM with immediate effect, pending clarification of its financial position, as it has, as previously announced, a requirement for further funding. In a brief statement, the speciality polymers maker said: “Whilst the Company has been, and continues to explore all funding and other options, there is no guarantee that a fund raise will be successfully concluded.”

European Wealth Group Limited (LON:EWG) saw a 13% increase in assets under management (AUM) in 2017 to £1.7bn.

Latin America-focused junior oiler Echo Energy PLC (LON:ECHO) has appointed Martin Hull as its new chief financial officer.

Amphion Innovations PLC (LON:AMP), the developer of medical, life science, and technology businesses, announced the appointment of Philip Tansey as a non-executive director of the company, effective immediately.

VR Education Holdings PLC (LON:VRE) reported strong growth in the top-line in its first set of full-year results as a listed company.

SDX Energy Inc. (LON:SDX) (TSXV:SDX), the Egypt-focused oil and gas company, has appointed Timothy Linacre as an independent non-executive director with immediate effect. The group said Linacre will become chairman of its Audit committee and join the Compensation Committee.

Tekcapital PLC (LON:TEK), the UK intellectual property (IP) investment group focused on creating marketplace value from university technology, announced that finnCap Limited has been appointed as its nominated adviser and joint broker with immediate effect.

Real Good Food PLC (LON:RGD) said yesterday that, following negotiations its three major shareholders have agreed to extend the final repayment dates of each of their funding agreements to 30 June 2020 with no change to the interest rate payable by the company.


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