Mineral & Financial Investments Limited shares climb on 'highly accretive' deal

Sirius Petroleum has secured a rig for work in offshore Nigeria

M&FI is making a further investment on metals assets

Mineral & Financial Investment Limited (LON:MAFL) moved up 10% to 660p as the investment company said it is acquiring TH Crestgate GmBH

Under the terms, the AIM-listed company said it has bought the 51% in shares of TH Crestgate it hadn’t already owned for CHF125,000 (£99,000) in cash. “The directors believe the transaction is highly accretive to M&FI”, the company said. TH Crestgate’s main investment is Redcorp, a Portuguese company focused on metals including zinc and lead. 

Among other advancers, hVIVO PLC (AIM:HVO) shares gained 3.5% to 62p, with the company saying it is in talks with pharmaceutical companies over further deals after landing new contracts worth £9mln.

AIM-quoted hVIVO said it will provide an unnamed “leading global biopharmaceutical company” with two respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, human-challenge studies. This follows last month’s £11.9mln RSV agreement.

But decliners included Hydrodec Group PLC (LON:HYR) as shares fell 44% to 0.71p after the company outlined equity-funding news.

Hydrodec, which makes oil and chemical process technology, is aiming to raise at least £10mln via a placing of new ordinary shares in a bid to fund the company’s new business plans. The placing shares will be priced at no less than 75p and before the placing, Hydrodec will conduct a 100-for-1 share consolidation.

Lancashire Holdings Limited (LON:LRE) shares sank 33% to 554p after the insurer said it was expecting a negative return in the third quarter of around US$75mln, hurt in part by several natural disasters.

Attritional losses at the FTSE 250 firm had accumulated due to exposure to a number of recent natural catastrophes, including hurricane Florence and typhoons Jebi, Mangkhut, and Trami with net losses from these events expected to be between US$25mln and US$45mln. Lancashire estimated net losses of around US$30mln in its marine portfolio.

But gaining ground were shares of Sopheon PLC (LON:SPE), up 11% to 1,010p as the cyber-security firm forecast full-year results to exceed current market expectations.

Revenue visibility for the year has risen above US$30mln compared with US$27.3mln at the time of Sopheon’s last update on August 23. Sopheon said its tallied a number of transactions in what is traditionally a quiet period for the company.

Also higher, Sirius Petroleum PLC (LON:SRSP) leapt 13% to 0.71p after the O&G explorer said it has secured a rig for the Ororo field, offshore Nigeria.

Sirius Petroleum signed an agreement with Shelf Drilling for the jack-up rig, which is already located in proximity to the Ororo field. The rig is due to become available in November.

French Connection Group PLC (LON:FCCN) jumped 26% to 54p after the apparel retailer said it is reviewing its strategic options, which includes the potential sale of the business.

Media reports said French Connection’s founder, Stephen Marks, was looking to sell his 42% stake in the business, sparking speculation that Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct International PLC (LON:SPD) may launch a bid for the main market company.

Also climbing were shares of MYCELX Technologies Corporation (LON:MYXR), up 21% to 225p after the company raised its 2018 revenue and profit forecasts after winning a project order from Saudi Arabia.

AIM-quoted MYCELX, which produces clean-water technology for the oil and gas market, said it now expects revenue in the range of $21.5mln to $22.5 mln, and net profit in the range of $1.8mln to $2.3mln.

Among share-price losers, Diurnal Group PLC (LON:DNL) plunged 63% to 45p after the company’s flagship Chronocort drug failed in a late-stage clinical trial.

Diurnal has been developing Chronocourt as a treatment for people with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). The AIM-listed drug maker had hoped to show the treatment was better than current therapies, but the trial showed Chronocort offered no real improvement on what’s already available.

Amino Technologies PLC (LON:AMO) shares slid 68% to 143.50p after the set-top box maker issued a profit warning.

Adjusted profit before for the full-year is expected to be around US$11.5mln, versus US$11.2mln in 2017 and US$3.8mln at the halfway point of this year. Amino blamed an “intensification of external macroeconomic headwinds” for the profit warning.

Proactive news headlines 

Out-of-home virtual reality company Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO) has disposed of its loss-making Japanese entertainment division.

MySQUAR Limited (LON:MYSQ), the Myanmar-language technology company is to sell and promote WeChat advertising products and services in Myanmar.

MTI Wireless Edge Ltd’s (LON:MWE) subsidiary, Mottech Water Solutions Ltd, has secured a contract for its wireless irrigation software in Mozambique, its first in the country.

Base Resources LTD (LON:BSE) has provided an update on reserves and resources at its mineral sands projects in Africa. Around 13mln tonnes of ore was mined out in the 12 months to June 2018 at Kwale, but this has been made up for by the new 857mln tonne resource in Madagascar.

Physiomics Plc (LON:PYC) saw revenues almost double last year, bolstered by the signing of a lucrative contract with German firm Merck KGaA.

Ironridge Resources LTD (LON:IRR) has hit more high grade lithium at its Ewoyaa project in Ghana. Results from a further 2,206 metres of drilling include multiple broad high-grade drill intersections.

PCF Group Plc (LON:PCF) said its wholly-owned PCF Bank Limited has agreed to buy UK specialist finance provider Azule Limited for up to £5.6mln.

hVIVO PLC (AIM:HVO), a specialist in human disease models, said it is in talks with pharmaceutical companies over further deals after landing new contracts worth £9mln.

North Sea-focused oil group i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E) has reshuffled its senior management team with Majid Shafiq taking over as chief executive and founder Neil Carson moving to a non-executive role.

Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG) has updated investors on its interest in Canada where it is now amending its application to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to focus exclusively on forestry opportunities and the development of one or more dedicated CoalSwitch plants.

Ceres Power Holdings Plc (LON:CWR) has announced it will launch a new fuel cell manufacturing facility in the UK in  Redhill, Surrey.

In the financial year to 30 September 2018, Tharisa plc (LON:THS) produced 152,200 ounces of platinum group metals and just under 1.5mln tonnes of chrome concentrate from its operations in South Africa.

KEFI Minerals plc (LON:KEFI) has secured approval from local, zonal and regional authorities for the resettlement of local people at the Tulu Kapi gold project in Ethiopia.

Arc Minerals Limited’s (LON:ARCM) recent drilling at its Zamsort project has hit wide zones of copper and cobalt similar to other large deposits in Zambia.

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) achieved record production numbers from its Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa last quarter.

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