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125614  END OF DAY NEWS WRAP 2016-05-05 17:07:00  2016-05-06 09:16:51  2016-05-05 17:36:46  Stocks becalmed as investors await US jobs data  Stocks becalmed as investors await US jobs data      stocks-becalmed-as-investors-await-us-jobs-data-125614.html    <p> Investors were mostly sitting on their hands ahead of tomorrow's April jobs data in the US.</p> <p> Several European markets were closed for Ascension Day, adding to the sense of ennui in the markets, and not even a sharp rise in the price of oil could spark much enthusiasm, even among oil companies.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RDSB/Royal-Dutch-Shell/" rel="3434">Royal Dutch Shell</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RDSB/Royal-Dutch-Shell/" rel="3434">LON:RDSB</a>) was unchanged while BP PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BP./BP-plc/" rel="3120">LON:BP.</a>) fell 0.7%.</p> <p> The FTSE 100 closed at 6,117, up five points. The FTSE Aim was similarly becalmed, dipping six points to 3,371, as was the FTSE Aim All-Share, down 1.5 at 722.4.</p> <p> Among the small caps, the market gave a massive thumbs-up to proposed board room changes at <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:VIS/Vitesse-Media/" rel="1072">Vitesse Media</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:VIS/Vitesse-Media/" rel="1072">LON:VIS</a>).</p> <p> The shares shot up 73% as the number of non-executive directors was pared from five to three, while Jonathan Sumner will be stepping down from his role as head of the SME division after 12 years with the company, though he will be kept on as a consultant.</p> <p> Lastly, Tim Griffiths has joined from Croc Media (Melbourne) to take up the position of commercial director.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BILL/Billing-Services-Group/" rel="126">Billing Services Group</a> Limited (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BILL/Billing-Services-Group/" rel="126">LON:BILL</a>) shot up by a little more than a third on the back of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).</p> <p> Under the terms of the agreement, among other commitments, <a href="-##!##-/LON:BILL/Billing-Services-Group/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="126">Billing Services Group</a> (BSG) will pay the FTC a total of $5.2 million for consumer redress in ten equal quarterly instalments; in return, the FTC has agreed to release BSG from all claims related to enhanced services billing.</p> <p> Cloud video editing platform developer <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FBT/Forbidden-Technologies-plc/" rel="364">Forbidden Technologies plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FBT/Forbidden-Technologies-plc/" rel="364">LON:FBT</a>) was a big riser for the second day in succession.</p> <p> Yesterday's rise was down to the company starting a 12-month proof of concept study for its video-editing tool Forscene with a major UK broadcaster.</p> <p> There was no new news today to explain its 33% rise, other than a <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/stocktube/4991/cash-preservation-number-one-priority-at-blur-4991.html" target="_blank">Stocktube interview</a> with chief financial officer Tim Allen on Proactive Investors.</p> <p> The company was also the lead item in the daily Proactive Investors newsletter last night.</p> <p> News of an acquisition, placing and issue of loan notes caused investors in <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FLX/Falanx-Group/" rel="3740">Falanx Group</a> Limited (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FLX/Falanx-Group/" rel="3740">LON:FLX</a>) to break ranks.</p> <p> The shares shed 31% at 4.125p as the company increased the number of shares in issue by one third through the issue of shares placed at 4p a pop.</p> <p> The company is acquiring cyber-security specialist Advanced Security Consulting for £435,000.</p> <p> Another stock getting a kicking after a share issue was <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LEG/Legendary-Investments-plc/" rel="560">Legendary Investments plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LEG/Legendary-Investments-plc/" rel="560">LON:LEG</a>), which fell almost 14% to 0.32p.</p> <p> The company has placed shares at 0.3p to raise £1mln.</p> <hr /> <h3> Mid-session</h3> <p> After a promising start UK shares were turning lower at lunch, with FTSE100 down around five points.</p> <p> It came as energy giant <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">Centrica</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">LON:CNA</a>) issued a shock rights issue to tap the market&nbsp; for £750mln to pay off debt, shore up its credit ratings and pay for acquisitions and shares in the FTSE100 firm slumped almost 10% to 208.5p.</p> <p> Investors were also put off by weak UK service sector growth, which fell to a 38-month low in April, according to official stats.</p> <p> Meanwhile, optimism in business was the joint-weakest in over three years.</p> <p> It comes on top of this week’s lacklustre UK construction and manufacturing number, suggesting the UK economy stalling out in Q2, suggested CMC analyst Michael Hewson.</p> <p> "This trifecta of disappointment could well see the Bank of England revise down its growth forecasts for the UK economy when it meets next&nbsp; week for its latest policy meeting and quarterly inflation report."</p> <p> FTSE100 is down&nbsp; around five at the time of writing, to 6,107, while in smaller caps, FTSE AIM 100 is 0.07% higher at 3,379, while the FTSEAIM All-share is down a tad - at 723.790, down 0.01%.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OSU/Orsu-Metals/" rel="8184">Orsu Metals</a> Corp (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/TSE:OSU/ORSU-METALS-CORPORATION/" rel="10576">TSE:OSU</a>, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OSU/Orsu-Metals/" rel="8184">LON:OSU</a>) was top riser in London, up over 76% to 2.25p as it received the deposit of $100,000 due from Karasat Trading FZE under its deal for the conditional sale of the Karchiga project.</p> <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:VIS/Vitesse-Media/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="1072">Vitesse Media</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:VIS/Vitesse-Media/" rel="1072">LON:VIS</a>), which rocketed over 45% to 2p a share after reporting&nbsp; several board changes.</p> <p> The number of non-executive directors is reduced from five to three to reflect the more streamlined operations, it said.</p> <p> Having been higher earlier, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3746">Alecto Minerals PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3746">LON:ALO</a>), which has renewed the permits for its Kerboule project in Burkina Faso for a further three years, shed 8% to stand at 0.115p.</p> <p> Elsewhere, digital music and radio platform <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">7digital</a> Group PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">LON:7DIG</a>)advanced over 18% to 7.25p after it won a contract with a fast growing social media platform, which will contribute to the AIM firm's revenues in 2016.</p> <p> Conversely, LGO Energy Plc's (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LGO/Lgo-Energy-PLC/" rel="562">LON:LGO</a>) shares dropped almost 22% to 0.215p as it said it had restructured its debt and simultaneously raised £3.25mln of new funds from investors.</p> <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:FLX/Falanx-Group/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3740">Falanx Group</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FLX/Falanx-Group/" rel="3740">LON:FLX</a>) shed over 31% to 4.13p as a cyber security services organisation was bought up by the AIM-listed security and intelligence provider.</p> <p> Falanx has purchased Advanced Security Consulting (ASC) for a total of £435,000.</p> <p> Elsewhere, mining firm Armadale Capital (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ACP/Armadale-Capital-PLC/" rel="1081">LON:ACP</a>) shed over 10% at 2.13p. It comes after news on Tuesday that it had started a 2,000 metre drill programme consisting of about 150 auger holes at its Mpokoto gold project in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.</p>     REPORT          View Edit Delete
125610  END OF DAY NEWS WRAP 2016-05-05 16:15:00  2016-05-05 15:45:55  2016-05-05 15:45:55  Proactive news highlights: Alecto, Clinigen, Eckoh, Metal Tiger, Rosslyn Data Technologies and more.  Proactive news highlights: Alecto, Clinigen, Eckoh, Metal Tiger, Rosslyn Data Technologies and more...      proactive-news-highlights-alecto-clinigen-eckoh-metal-tiger-rosslyn-data-technologies-and-more-125610.html    <p> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:MTR/Metal-Tiger/">Metal Tiger</a>&nbsp;PLC (<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:MTR/Metal-Tiger/">LON:MTR</a>) said it was very pleased with latest drill assays from its joint venture in the Kalahari Copper Belt, Botswana, which have extended the strike length and found significant copper and silver.</p> <p> Notably, one of the results from T3, or Target 3, showed an intersection, which contained nine times more silver than any previous silver assay reported at the prospect.</p> <p> In other news, <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:RDT/Rosslyn-Data-Technologies-PLC/">Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC</a>&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:RDT/Rosslyn-Data-Technologies-PLC/">LON:RDT</a>) said it was “extremely positive” about the future as it unveiled 40% increase in revenues and said it expected to be cashflow break-even this year.</p> <p> In a trading update, the group said sales for the year to April 30 would be £3.9-£4mln, with the pretax loss narrowing to £2.4mln from £3.5mln. It has £1.8mln in the bank.</p> <p> Over at LGO Energy Plc's (<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:LGO/Lgo-Energy-PLC/">LON:LGO</a>), its finances have received a boost, with the Trinidad focussed oil company restructuring its debt and simultaneously raising £3.25mln of new funds from investors.</p> <p> BNP Paribas, the company’s lender, has agreed a new indicative repayment schedule for the outstanding debt. And by offsetting cash set aside as security, it has reduced the debt to US$4.87mln.</p> <p> Elsewhere, <a href="-##!##-/LON:EMR/Empresaria-Group-plc/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="315">Empresaria Group plc</a>’s&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:EMR/Empresaria-Group-plc/">LON:EMR</a>) chairman Tony Martin told investors that the company remained on course to meet market expectations for the 2016.</p> <p> In a statement ahead of today’s annual general meeting (AGM) he highlighted that the specialist staffing group had made a good start to the year. Net fee income was up compared to this time last year, he said.</p> <p> Meanwhile, <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:CLIN/Clinigen-Group-PLC/">Clinigen Group PLC</a>&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:CLIN/Clinigen-Group-PLC/">LON:CLIN</a>) is continuing to revitalise one of its key products, it has come up with a bag formulation for Foscavir, which is used to treat a group of herpes type viruses.</p> <p> The bag was developed by Medisol, a specialist at finding and repurposing medical products in this way. Foscavir was previously sold in glass bottles.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:ECK/Eckoh-PLC/">Eckoh PLC</a>&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:ECK/Eckoh-PLC/">LON:ECK</a>) saw sales and margins grow by more than 20% for a third consecutive year, driven by growth in the US for its secure payment software.&nbsp;</p> <p> The company, which also provides call centre software, signed nine new contracts for its secure payments products during the year to March just ended.</p> <p> Gold explorer&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/">Alecto Minerals PLC</a>&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/">LON:ALO</a>) renewed the permits for its Kerboule project in Burkina Faso for a further three years.</p> <p> The renewal will significantly strengthen its hand when it comes to finding a partner for the project, said Mark Jones, chief executive.</p> <p> And finally, <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/PRIVATE:DIRA/Directa-Plus/">Directa Plus</a>, the producer and supplier of graphene-based products, announced its intention yesterday to float on London’s junior market AIM.</p> <p> The admission will provide <a href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:DIRA/Directa-Plus/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="14573">Directa Plus</a> with the capital to support its growth strategy and to capitalise on the pipeline of commercial opportunities with existing and potential partners.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p>     REPORT          View Edit Delete
125611  GOLD, SILVER & PRECIOUS METALS MARKET WRAP 2016-05-05 16:06:00  2016-05-05 16:10:46  2016-05-05 16:10:04  Gold moves sideways ahead of non-farms  Gold moves sideways ahead of non-farms  Gold, silver    gold-moves-sideways-ahead-of-non-farms-125611.html    <p style="text-align: justify;"> Gold sat on the sidelines ahead of tomorrow’s US non-farm payroll numbers.</p> <p> Consensus forecasts are for around 200,000 jobs to have been created in April, with US unemployment forecast to dip slightly to 4.9% from 5% in March.</p> <p> Gold supporters will be watching the number even more keenly than usual as analysts say that the only thing supporting the dollar currently is good employment growth numbers.</p> <p> If they falter tomorrow without any mitigating factors, it would suggest the US economy must be slowing.</p> <p> Gold and the US currency traditionally go in opposite directions and this year already the metal has risen 21% due to the US Federal Reserve reining in its interest rate hike forecasts.</p> <p> That has hit the dollar recently and if the jobs numbers disappoint, it would mean help for gold says traders.</p> <p> An hour into US trading, spot gold was US$2 lower at US$1,276. Silver was flat at US$17.38 and platinum added US$4 to US$1,057.</p> <h3> Alecto Minerals</h3> <p> Even before the recent surge in the gold price, Alecto Minerals was one junior trying to stitch together a decent portfolio of gold deposits in Africa.</p> <p> It has enjoyed some success. <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RRS/Randgold-Resources/" rel="3134">Randgold Resources</a> is its new partner in Mali for the Kossanto West project.</p> <p> Today, it announced a three-year extension to its Kerboule exploration permit in Burkina Faso.</p> <p> Kerboule, inside the Gassel-Manere and Arae exploration permit areas, has a non-verified resource of 6.2Mt grading at 1.16g/t gold or 231,000 ounces.</p> <p> it covers 399.5 sq km of the highly prospective Birimian-age Djibo gold belt in the north of Burkina Faso and is 20km along strike from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:AVM/Avocet-Mining/">Avocet Mining</a>’s 5mln oz Inata gold mine.</p> <p> The aim is to find a partner to fun dteh exploration and development work and chief executive said the renewal will significantly strengthen its hand when it comes to finding a partner for the project.</p> <h3> Major share price moves</h3> <p> <a href="-##!##-/LON:RRS/Randgold-Resources/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3134">Randgold Resources</a> down 30p at 5,800p</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FRES/Fresnillo/" rel="3441">Fresnillo</a> up 3p at 1,039p</p> <p> Alecto down 0.01p to 0.115p</p>     REPORT        View Edit Delete
125592  MARKET MOVERS 2016-05-05 09:45:00  2016-05-05 16:11:24  2016-05-05 10:23:42  Risers and Fallers - Churchill Mining, StageCoach and Feedback   Risers and Fallers - Churchill Mining, StageCoach and Feedback   risers and fallers    risers-and-fallers-churchill-mining-stagecoach-and-feedback-125592.html    <p style="text-align: justify;"> A selection of some share price movers at around 3.45pm.....</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> <strong style="font-size: 14px;">RISERS</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Snoozebox (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ZZZ/Snoozebox-Holdings/" rel="4062">LON:ZZZ</a>), up 13.45% to 0.68p, recovering after heavy recent falls after the loss of chief Lorcán Ó Murchú who resigned.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TNI/Trinity-Mirror/" rel="3061">Trinity Mirror</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TNI/Trinity-Mirror/" rel="3061">LON:TNI</a>), up 6.64% to 120.50p, despite revealing today that newspaper sales fell by 4.5% year on year for the four months to May 1, due to the ongoing tough trading conditions faced by publishers. Digital income however, which is building on a comparatively low base compared to other publishers, grew by over 18% last month alone. It also said the New Day - Britain's first new paper for 30 years closed after nine weeks.</p> <p> Stagecoach (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SGC/Stagecoach-Group/" rel="3200">LON:SGC</a>), up 1.40% to 261.50p after Swiss broker <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:UBS/UBS/" rel="7840">UBS</a> upgraded the shares to 'buy'.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h3> FALLERS</h3> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FDBK/Feedback-plc/" rel="353">Feedback plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FDBK/Feedback-plc/" rel="353">LON:FDBK</a>) down 36.36% to 0.88p, It comes after the medical imaging software company agreed to sell its 50% stake in Stone Checker Software Ltd for GBP46,000 in cash.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CHL/Churchill-Mining/" rel="211">Churchill Mining</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CHL/Churchill-Mining/" rel="211">LON:CHL</a>), down 9.7% to 18.625p as the miner updated on the default by Indonesia following its failure to pay its share of the fifth advance payment sought by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).</p> <p> ASA Resource (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/lON:ASA/Asa-Resource-Group-PLC/" rel="664">lON:ASA</a>) down 9.68% to 0.70p as it transferred 62% of a s<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:UBS/UBS/" rel="7840">UBS</a>idiary to&nbsp; Zhejiang Hailiang under a&nbsp; previous cooperation and development agreement signed between the pair.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;</h3> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> ------------------------------------</h3> <p> Some risers and fallers at around 12.30pm....</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> <strong>RISERS</strong></h3> <p> Kazakhstan focused <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OSU/Orsu-Metals/" rel="8184">Orsu Metals</a> Corp (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OSU/Orsu-Metals/" rel="8184">LON:OSU</a>) up 68.63% to 2.15p as it receives the deposit of $100,000 due from Karasat Trading FZE under the deal for the conditional sale of the Karchiga copper project.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FBT/Forbidden-Technologies-plc/" rel="364">Forbidden Technologies plc</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FBT/Forbidden-Technologies-plc/" rel="364">LON:FBT</a>), up 15.38% to 11.25p, following yesterday' sharp rise, as it told investors it had started a 12-month proof of concept study for its video-editing tool Forscene with a major UK broadcaster.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SML/Strategic-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3790">Strategic Minerals PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SML/Strategic-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3790">LON:SML</a>) surged over 41% to 0.375p on no news. The stock has been on a tear in the last month, almost tripling in value.</p> <p> A maiden drilling programme on the Hanns Creek nickel-copper licence in Australia will get underway once the permit has been approved, it said in late April.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h3> FALLERS</h3> <p> LGO Energy PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LGO/Lgo-Energy-PLC/" rel="562">LON:LGO</a>), down almost 22% to 0.22p as it announced a&nbsp; restructuring and the simultaneous raising of £3.25mln of new funds from investors.</p> <p> Artificial limb maker Smith &amp; Nephew (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SN./Smith-&amp;-Nephew-PLC/" rel="3076">LON:SN.</a>) fell 2.84% to 1,131p as it reported worse-than-expected first-quarter revenue on weakness in China and the Gulf states.</p> <p> Satellite firm Inmarsat (LON: ISAT) dropped 6.4% to 870.5p as it cut its full year revenue guidance to a range of between $1,175bn and $1,250bn.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Major share price rises and fallers in London at <strong>9.45am</strong></p> <h3 style="color:blue;"> RISERS</h3> <p> VItesse Media PLC (LSE:VIS) up 47% to 2.03p. Boardroom shake-up sees two directors leave and a new commercial director appointed. Head of SME division is also leaving.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BILL/Billing-Services-Group/" rel="126">Billing Services Group</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BILL/Billing-Services-Group/" rel="126">LON:BILL</a>) up 37% to 6.01p.&nbsp; Settlement with the Federal Trade Commission&nbsp;will see group pay US$5.2mln for customer redress in ten equal instalments. Settlement resolves all issues stemming from 2012 litigation.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">7digital</a> Group PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">LON:7DIG</a>)&nbsp; up 14% to 7p. Company has agreed a contract with musical.ly, a fast-growing social media platform based around video and music with a strong international footprint. The deal will contribute to <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">7digital</a>'s revenues for 2016.</p> <h3 style="color:red;"> FALLERS</h3> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FLX/Falanx-Group/" rel="3740">Falanx Group</a> Ltd (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FLX/Falanx-Group/" rel="3740">LON:FLX</a>) down 29% to 4.24p. Company is acquiring Advanced Security Consulting Limited £435,000 and raising £1.55mln through a placing at 4p and issue of CULS.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RBN/Robinson-PLC/" rel="870">Robinson PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RBN/Robinson-PLC/" rel="870">LON:RBN</a>) down 14% to 150p. “In the first quarter of 2016, revenues were 10% down on the previous year of which 4% was due to lower resin prices. Resin prices are increasing which will reduce margins in the short term before prices are adjusted.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">Centrica</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">LON:CNA</a>) British Gas group raises £750mln to protect its credit rating and fund two recent acquisitions.</p>     REPORT          View Edit Delete
125609  WALL STREET 2016-05-05 15:34:00  2016-05-05 15:36:15  2016-05-05 15:36:15  Energy stocks drive markets higher, led by EP Energy  Energy stocks drive markets higher, led by EP Energy      energy-stocks-drive-markets-higher-led-by-ep-energy-125609.html    <p> As expected, markets have opened higher, fuelled by the strength of energy stocks, which have been buoyed by higher crude prices.</p> <p> The S&amp;P 500 was up eight points at 2,059 after 45 minutes of trading, while the mid-caps, as measured by the S&amp;P 400 index, was doing even better, also up eight points, at 1,456.</p> <p> Small caps struggled to keep pace, judging by the Russell 2,000 index, which was up just three points at 1,116.</p> <p> The price of West Texas intermediate for June delivery was sharply higher, up 4.2% at $45.61 a barrel, as the wildfire in the oil sands region of Alberta spread, hitting oil production in the region.</p> <p> Topping the charts in the energy sector was EP Energy Corp (NYSE:EPE) after sparkling first quarter results released after the close of trading yesterday.</p> <p> The shares shot up more than a third as the company reported significant progress in reducing debt and increasing financial flexibility.</p> <p> Construction company Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE:TPC) saw its share rise by more than a quarter after its first quarter profits topped forecasts.</p> <p> Net income of $15.4mln equates to earnings per share of 31 cents, almost double what the market had been expecting.</p>     REPORT          View Edit Delete
125582  Clinigen Group PLC 2016-05-05 07:49:00  2016-05-06 09:29:05  2016-05-05 08:12:53  Clinigen revitalises top selling drug   Clinigen revitalises top selling drug   drug, foscavir, herpes, herpes simplex, hiv, reformulation    clinigen-revitalises-top-selling-drug-125582.html    <p style="text-align: justify;"> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:CLIN/Clinigen-Group-PLC/">Clinigen Group PLC</a>&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:CLIN/Clinigen-Group-PLC/">LON:CLIN</a>) is continuing to revitalise one of its key products.</p> <p> It has come up with a bag formulation for Foscavir, which is used to treat a group of herpes type viruses.</p> <p> The bag was developed by Medisol, a specialist at finding and repurposing medical products in this way.</p> <p> Foscavir has been sold in 250ml glass bottles since its acquisition of the product from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:AZN/AstraZeneca/">AstraZeneca</a>&nbsp;in 2010.</p> <p> "This product development is part of our ongoing strategy to differentiate Foscavir and extend its product life,” said David Moran, managing director of Clinigen Specialty Pharmaceuticals.</p> <p> “By offering a new bag presentation, we are responding to our customers' requirements and strengthening our position in the foscarnet market.”</p> <p> Focscavir is currently Clinigen’s largest product, accounting for 20% of profits.</p> <p> Revitalising it has been key since its&nbsp;acquisition said Peter George, chief executive.</p> <p> “It started at £4.5mln turnover product and it is now £24mln five years later.</p> <p> “We’ve been trying to put it into plastic a container for some time but it’s very acidic.</p> <p> “But now we have produced a stable version of Foscavir in a plastic bag and it will drive usage.”</p> <p> It also shows that when we revitalise products we do every step, including reformulation, he added.</p> <p> Foscavir&nbsp;also now has an updated electronic dossier, said George, and that will enable it to be licensed in new markets, something not possible with Astra's original.</p> <p> “We are looking to launch in the US (second product), Japan, where there should be significant growth, and Scandinavia, over the next three years”.</p> <p> He admits some market share may be lost to new anti-viral products but says that with this plastic package format it can continue to open up new markets and see growth as well.</p> <p> “It’s life cycle management and we have extended the life of the product for sure.”</p> <p> Broker Numis added that the new bag format supports its mid-term estimates for Foscavir, which it has now raised slightly from 2018 onwards.</p> <p> The market is concerned over Clinigen’s trading this year adds the broker, but Numis sees the strong momentum in product revitalisation in the first half continuing into the second.</p> <p> "Clinigen remains a cheap yet high growth story in UK healthcare," adds the broker, which has a target price of 916p.</p> <p> Shares rose 3% to 527p.</p>   Clinigen Group PLC (LON:CLIN) is continuing to revitalise one of its key products. It has come up with a bag formulation for Foscavir, which is used to treat a group of herpes type viruses. The bag was developed by Medisol, a specialist at finding repurposing medical products in this way.  ARTICLE        View Edit Delete
125605  Proactiveinvestors 2016-05-05 09:39:00  2016-05-05 09:51:48  2016-05-05 09:51:48  Blue Nile numbers lose their sparkle   Blue Nile numbers lose their sparkle       blue-nile-numbers-lose-their-sparkle-125605.html    <p> The “challenging environment” was blamed for a small fall in quarterly sales and earnings at Blue Nile Inc (NASDAQ:NILE), the online jeweller.</p> <p> Revenues fell 3.2% to US$103mln in the three months to April 3, leading to a 10% fall in diluted EPS, which fell to 9 cents a share.</p> <p> The free cashflow of the group grew US$600,000 to US$7.2mln.</p> <p> “As expected, it was a challenging environment for us in the first quarter,” said chairman Harvey Kanter.</p> <p> “However, we are encouraged by what we’ve seen to date in the second quarter and are making good progress on key initiatives, which we expect to fundamentally improve performance long term.”&nbsp;</p>   The “challenging environment” was blamed for a small fall in quarterly sales and earnings at Blue Nile Inc (NASDAQ:NILE), the online jeweller. Revenues fell 3.2% to US$103mln in the three months to April 3, leading to a 10% fall in diluted EPS, which fell to 9 cents a share. The free cashflow of the group grew US$600,000 to US$7.2mln.  NEWS      View Edit Delete
125574  Lgo Energy PLC 2016-05-05 07:25:00  2016-05-05 13:40:10  2016-05-05 07:30:19  LGO Energy unveils debt deal and £3.25mln share placing  LGO Energy unveils debt deal and £3.25mln share placing      lgo-energy-unveils-debt-deal-and-325mln-share-placing-125574.html    <p> LGO Energy Plc's (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LGO/Lgo-Energy-PLC/" rel="562">LON:LGO</a>) finances have received a shot in the arm, with the Trinidad focussed oil company restructuring its debt and simultaneously raising £3.25mln of new funds from investors.</p> <p> BNP Paribas, the company’s lender, has agreed a new indicative repayment schedule for the outstanding debt. And by offsetting cash set aside as security, it has reduced the debt to US$4.87mln.</p> <p> A new repayment schedule sees LGO pay an average of US$286,000 per month, which is about half the previous monthly repayment. These repayments are now expected to run until September 2017, and the new arrangement begins with the May 2016 payment.</p> <p> LGO told investors that the cash injection, coming via a share placing, will provide working capital. It is issuing 1.6bn new shares to institutional investors at a price of 0.2p per share.<br /> <br /> As a result of the funding, it has now reached agreements with all material trade creditors relating to the 2015 drill programme at the Goudron field.</p> <p> Now LGO says it can refocus its efforts on increasing oil production from its Goudron field.</p> <p> “The board are pleased to have secured institutional backing to address the remaining trade creditors from the 2015 drilling campaign at Goudron,” said Neil Ritson, LGO chief executive.</p> <p> “Well recompletion work is now underway to raise production and is showing encouraging results.&nbsp;</p> <p> “The company's primary focus is on clearing all creditors and to increase production, and then to proceed to the drilling of the previously announced Goudron Sandstone well program as soon as practical."</p> <p> LGO highlighted that due to its progress, the company is no longer pursuing the US$20mln convertible debt arrangement previously announced in February.</p> <p> It also noted that the BNP Paribas loan remains ‘at call’ and the company continues to explore ways to further restructure the debt liability so that the current technical default covenants can be fully remedied.</p> <p> And LGO intends to start new talks which it hopes will lead to early repayment of the remaining debt to BNP Paribas.</p> <p> LGO shares were down 0.06p, 21%, changing hands at 0.22p each at around 1:30pm on Thursday.</p>   LGO Energy finances have received a shot in the arm, with the Trinidad focussed oil company restructuring its debt and simultaneously raising £3.25mln of new funds from investors. BNP Paribas, the company’s lender, has agreed a new indicative repayment schedule for the outstanding debt and by offsetting cash set aside as security has reduced the debt to US$4.87mln.  ARTICLE        View Edit Delete
125599  Symphony Environmental Technologies plc 2016-05-05 13:14:00  2016-05-06 09:39:12  2016-05-05 13:22:49  Symphony Environmental at heart of recycling debate  Symphony Environmental at heart of recycling debate  plastics, biodegradeable, recycling, EU    symphony-environmental-at-heart-of-recycling-debate-125599.html    <p> <a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:SYM/Symphony-Environmental-Technologies/">Symphony Environmental Technologies</a>&nbsp;PLC’s (<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/LON:SYM/Symphony-Environmental-Technologies/">LON:SYM</a>) sales have started to pick up this year after a flat 2015.</p> <p> The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/125006/symphony-environmental-technologies-aims-for-better-2016-125006.html">e</a>co-friendly plastics group’s&nbsp;first quarter revenues were &nbsp;8% higher than a year ago though they were ‘disappointingly static’ at £6.37mlm (£6.35mln) in the past year to December.</p> <p> The operating loss rose to £0.97mln (£0.27mln).</p> <p> <strong>What it is about?</strong></p> <p> No one disputes there is a need to reduce the amount of plastic waste floating around the globe currently, but as with many environmental issues the wrinkle is how to do it.</p> <p> Only 25% of plastic waste is currently recycled in Europe, with the rest going into landfill, burnt or just thrown away.</p> <p> But the EU wants the use of landfill to come to an end by 2020 through higher use of recycling or bags that decompose.</p> <p> Symphony’s technology is based oxo-biodegradeable additives that encourage oil–based plastic to decompose more easily in environments such as the sea.</p> <p> Opponents, particularly those in Europe, say they are little better than what’s available currently but Symphony has spent heavily to illustrate the benefits.</p> <p> A key decision will take place later this year when a report, including studies from Symphony, and others will be handed over to the EU for a decision on what the policy going forward will be.</p> <p> A decision on labelling will also be required by 2017.</p> <p> <strong>Product types</strong></p> <p> Symphony divides into products three ways: the oxo-biodegradeables (controlled life plastic) d2w; &nbsp;protective plastics (d2p) such as flame retardants, anti-microbial products and insecticides; and anti-counterfeiting (d2t).</p> <p> <strong>Prospects</strong></p> <p> Statutory losses in 2015 were £2.3mln (£390,000) after a strategic review of the business resulted in a write-down of £1.3mln for development costs of the d2w product.</p> <p> After the review the company expects to save £750,000 annually on lower research and marketing expenditure.</p> <p> The full year forecast was for moderate sales growth and maintained gross margins.</p> <p> “As&nbsp;an operationally geared business, now running with a significantly lower cost base, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/125006/symphony-environmental-technologies-aims-for-better-2016-125006.html">board<img alt="http://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png" border="0" height="10" src="file:///C:\Users\admin\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\02\clip_image002.gif" width="10" /></a>looks forward to a financially more successful year in 2016,” added chief executive&nbsp;Michael Laurier.</p> <p> <strong>Tighter regulation to boost demand</strong></p> <p> In an interview with Proactive Investors Laurier added that while 8% growth this year so far was encouraging much more was expected.</p> <p> D2w sales are dependent on how regulation is enforced and there are signs that this is starting to happen, he said.</p> <p> The strategic review also highlighted the need to focus more on the d2P branded opportunity, he said, and fifty applications with existing customers are under development currently just in the anti-microbial sector.</p> <p> <strong>What the broker says</strong></p> <p> House broker Cantor Fitzgerald currently has a target price of 6.8p (currently at 4p) and ‘buy’ recommendation.</p> <p> The results for 2015 were a touch below the analyst’s expectations and sales growth in controlled-life additives (d2w) was slower than expected.</p> <p> However, the company believes it can reduce the associated costs and save £0.75mln a year, said the broker.</p> <p> “We continue to believe this is an attractive opportunity to invest in a technology that is approaching commercialisation,” it said.</p> <p> Cantor forecasts revenues of £6.6mln in 2016.</p>   In an interview with Proactive Investors Laurier added that while 8% growth this year was encouraging much more was expected. D2w sales are dependent on how regulation is enforced and there are signs that this is starting to happen, he said. The strategic review also highlighted the need to focus more on the d2P branded opportunity, he said.  ARTICLE          View Edit Delete
125597  Breedon Aggregates 2016-05-05 12:31:00  2016-05-05 12:40:55  2016-05-05 12:40:55  Broker upgrade for Breedon with CMA clearance and divi in sight  Broker upgrade for Breedon with CMA clearance and divi in sight      broker-upgrade-for-breedon-with-cma-clearance-and-divi-in-sight-125597.html    <p> Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded its target price for <a href="-##!##-/LON:BREE/Breedon-Aggregates/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="10682">Breedon Aggregates</a> Ltd (<a href="-##!##-/LON:BREE/Breedon-Aggregates/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="10682">LON:BREE</a>) to 80p with renewed confidence in the group’s potential , believing that approval for its construction materials business acquisition was in sight.</p> <p> The broker upgraded its target from the 75p reiterated back in March following “solid” results, due to the progress of the construction material company’s latest acquisition.</p> <p> In the recent note, the broker sees further "sizeable acquisitions and synergies" from its recent acquisition of Hope Construction Materials.</p> <p> The acquisition was key to continued share price performance, “justifying our positive stance and indicating management’s strategy remains on track,” said the broker, but the deal is yet to be approved.</p> <p> The UK Conduct and Market Authority (CMA) is expected to clear the acquisition soon as initial concerns have showed signs of being remedied, said Cantor.</p> <p> In April, the CMA announced that undertakings offered by Breedon at fourteen concrete sites to remedy competition concerns “might be accepted.”</p> <p> The combined group has over 200 concrete plants, therefore a remedy should be possible without impacting the deal.</p> <p> Analysts did however warn of a potential slow-down in the first half of this year:</p> <p> "Comments from peers suggest underlying aggregates volumes be down in H1 2016 compared with a year ago with delays to infrastructure projects, the switch to Highways England and the Brexit distraction.”</p> <p> However, it estimates revenue for 2016 to reach £492.7mln, compared to £318.5mln reported by Breedon last year, and forecast adjusted earnings of £52mln up significantly from the £37mln seen last year.</p> <p> The broker also reiterated its Buy recommendation, with a further significant upside to the target price predicated on further acquisitions.</p> <p> Cantor also said that with heavy investment in growth, a dividend payment could be on the cards.</p> <p> Breedon has not yet paid a dividend to its shareholders. The broker expects a first dividend payment in 2017.</p>   Cantor Fitzgerald upgraded its target price for Breedon Aggregates Ltd (LON:BREE) to 80p with renewed confidence in the group’s potential , believing that approval for its construction materials business acquisition was in sight. Cantor also said that with heavy investment in growth, a dividend payment could be on the cards.  NEWS        View Edit Delete
125595  MID SESSION MARKET WRAP 2016-05-05 12:19:00  2016-05-05 17:37:42  2016-05-05 12:22:56  UK shares see-saw as Centrica news weighs on Footsie  UK shares see-saw as Centrica news weighs on Footsie  UK shares, FTSE100, Centrica, manufacturing     uk-shares-see-saw-as-centrica-news-weighs-on-footsie-125595.html    <p> After a promising start UK shares were turning lower at lunch, with FTSE100 down around five points.</p> <p> It came as energy giant <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">Centrica</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">LON:CNA</a>) issued a shock rights issue to tap the market&nbsp; for £750mln to pay off debt, shore up its credit ratings and pay for acquisitions and shares in the FTSE100 firm slumped almost 10% to 208.5p.</p> <p> Investors were also put off by weak UK service sector growth, which fell to a 38-month low in April, according to official stats.</p> <p> Meanwhile, optimism in business was the joint-weakest in over three years.</p> <p> It comes on top of this week’s lacklustre UK construction and manufacturing number, suggesting the UK economy stalling out in Q2, suggested CMC analyst Michael Hewson.</p> <p> "This trifecta of disappointment could well see the Bank of England revise down its growth forecasts for the UK economy when it meets next &nbsp;week for its latest policy meeting and quarterly inflation report."</p> <p> FTSE100 is down&nbsp; around five at the time of writing, to 6,107, while in smaller caps, FTSE AIM 100 is 0.07% higher at 3,379, while the FTSEAIM All-share is down a tad - at 723.790, down 0.01%.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OSU/Orsu-Metals/" rel="8184">Orsu Metals</a> Corp (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/TSE:OSU/ORSU-METALS-CORPORATION/" rel="10576">TSE:OSU</a>, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:OSU/Orsu-Metals/" rel="8184">LON:OSU</a>) was top riser in London, up over 76% to 2.25p as it received the deposit of $100,000 due from Karasat Trading FZE under its deal for the conditional sale of the Karchiga project.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:VIS/Vitesse-Media/" rel="1072">Vitesse Media</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:VIS/Vitesse-Media/" rel="1072">LON:VIS</a>), which rocketed over 45% to 2p a share after reporting&nbsp; several board changes.</p> <p> The number of non-executive directors is reduced from five to three to reflect the more streamlined operations, it said.</p> <p> Having been higher earlier, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3746">Alecto Minerals PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3746">LON:ALO</a>), which has renewed the permits for its Kerboule project in Burkina Faso for a further three years, shed 8% to stand at 0.115p.</p> <p> Elsewhere, digital music and radio platform <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">7digital</a> Group PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">LON:7DIG</a>)advanced over 18% to 7.25p after it won a contract with a fast growing social media platform, which will contribute to the AIM firm's revenues in 2016.</p> <p> Conversely, LGO Energy Plc's (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LGO/Lgo-Energy-PLC/" rel="562">LON:LGO</a>) shares dropped almost 22% to 0.215p as it said it had restructured its debt and simultaneously raised £3.25mln of new funds from investors.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FLX/Falanx-Group/" rel="3740">Falanx Group</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:FLX/Falanx-Group/" rel="3740">LON:FLX</a>) shed over 31% to 4.13p as a cyber security services organisation was bought up by the AIM-listed security and intelligence provider.</p> <p> Falanx has purchased Advanced Security Consulting (ASC) for a total of £435,000.</p> <p> Elsewhere, mining firm Armadale Capital (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ACP/Armadale-Capital-PLC/" rel="1081">LON:ACP</a>) shed over 10% at 2.13p. It comes after news on Tuesday that it had started a 2,000 metre drill programme consisting of about 150 auger holes at its Mpokoto gold project in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.</p>     REPORT          View Edit Delete
125596  MOST FOLLOWED COMPANIES 2016-05-05 12:16:00  2016-05-05 15:24:33  2016-05-05 12:24:42  New Day, same old sorry story for Trinity Mirror  New Day, same old sorry story for Trinity Mirror  stocks, shares, investing, investment, AIM, LSE    new-day-same-old-sorry-story-for-trinity-mirror-125596.html    <p> The disclaimer first: I should thank/blame Proactive’s news editor, ‘big Phil’ Whiterow, for the lyrical introduction that follows.</p> <p> “Spent a long time looking for a game to play, my luck should be so bad to turn out this way.”</p> <p> The line comes from A New Day Yesterday, by prog rock legends and Luton’s finest, Jethro Tull.</p> <p> It might also be inscribed on the metaphorical tombstone of newspaper group’s <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TNI/Trinity-Mirror/" rel="3061">Trinity Mirror</a>’s (LON:TN) latest failed venture, its national title, New Day.</p> <p> The doors will shut after just nine weeks with an estimated £5mln lavished on the business, which disappointed with daily sales of just 40,000 – around a fifth of what it was aiming for. New Day will live on in spirit, if you will, in digital form.</p> <p> Perversely (or perhaps not), the City was cheered by the news Trinity had decided to cut its losses. The stock, down around 27% in the year to date, added almost 7% in late morning trade and was changing hands for 120.5p.</p> <p> Elsewhere in Loserville, utility <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">Centrica</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">LON:CNA</a>) came off the boil with a 10% fall after it said it would raise £750mln from investors to protect its credit rating. The news was swiftly followed by a number of chunky downgrades, mainly to price targets, although Exane BNP Paribas cancelled its ‘buy’ rating on the stock.</p> <h3> A yummy investment?</h3> <p> There’s queue of new listings waiting to get off the runway, headed by Hotel Chocolat Group PLC, which made its debut on the junior AIM market with a price tag of £167mln - only slightly less than the cost of a box of its upmarket confectionary.</p> <p> In all it raised £55mln, including £40mln for its founders, Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris.</p> <p> The former is the son of Prontaprint and Mr Whippy millionaire Edwin Thirlwell; so money-making, entrepreneurialism obviously runs in the family.</p> <p> Investors were wondering whether news could be expected from Strategic Minerals (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SML/Strategic-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3790">LON:SML</a>), with the share price up 25% backed by some fairly decent trading volumes.</p> <p> The stock has been on a tear in the last month on minimal news and has almost tripled in value.</p> <p> A maiden drilling programme on the Hanns Creek nickel-copper licence in Australia will get underway once the permit has been approved, it said in late April. Interesting times.</p> <h3> What a relief</h3> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BILL/Billing-Services-Group/" rel="126">Billing Services Group</a> (LON:BSG), meanwhile, received a huge boost after it came to a settlement with America’s all-powerful Federal Trade Commission, with the stock up 37%.</p> <p> There was some interest in gold explorer <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3746">Alecto Minerals PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3746">LON:ALO</a>), which has renewed the permits for its (Younes??) Kerboule project in Burkina Faso for a further three years. The renewal will significantly strengthen its hand when it comes to finding a partner for the project, said Mark Jones, chief executive.</p> <p> Shares in <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ECK/Eckoh-PLC/" rel="303">Eckoh PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ECK/Eckoh-PLC/" rel="303">LON:ECK</a>) were in demand after a reasonably upbeat trading statement. It has seen sales and margins grow by more than 20% for a third year in succession, driven by growth in the US for its secure payment software. The company, which also provides call centre software, signed nine new contracts for its secure payments products during the year to March just ended.</p> <h3> Back on an even keel</h3> <p> One the face of it LGO Energy’s refinancing didn’t go down well with investors. But the shares appear to be merely adjusting to prospect of more equity being issued to put the Trinidad focused oiler on the evenest of even keels.</p> <p> Finally, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RDT/Rosslyn-Data-Technologies-PLC/" rel="8418">Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RDT/Rosslyn-Data-Technologies-PLC/" rel="8418">LON:RDT</a>) said it was “extremely positive” about the future as it unveiled 40% increase in revenues and said it expected to be cashflow break-even this year. In a trading update, the group said sales for the year to April 30 would be £3.9-£4mln, with the pretax loss narrowing to £2.4mln from £3.5mln. It has £1.8mln in the bank. The data and cloud technology specialist said it had agreed terms with a number of new customers.</p> <p> &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>     REPORT          View Edit Delete
123493  Breedon Aggregates 2016-03-09 15:45:00  2016-05-05 15:13:06  2016-03-09 15:50:13  Breedon Aggregates Ltd set to build on successful 2015  Breedon Aggregates Ltd set to build on successful 2015  Breedon Aggregates Ltd    breedon-aggregates-ltd-set-to-build-on-successful-2015-123493.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BREE/Breedon-Aggregates/" rel="10682">Breedon Aggregates</a> Ltd (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BREE/Breedon-Aggregates/" rel="10682">LON:BREE</a>) reported record results and an encouraging outlook, despite economic and political headwinds.</p> <p> Breedon, which produces aggregates, asphalt and ready-mixed concrete for builders, said in March that pre-tax profits in the year to December 31 rose 46.4% to £31.3mln on an 18.1% revenue increase to £318.5mln.</p> <p> During the year, the group finalised its biggest contract, a £55mln Scottish roadbuilding joint venture, and agreed to buy Hope Construction Materials in Derbyshire for £336mln.</p> <p> Earlier this year, new chief executive Pat Ward replaced Simon Vivian, who will stay on the board as a non-executive director.</p> <p> Breedon said prospects were encouraging, with modest but sustained growth in UK construction output predicted in the next few years.</p> <p> It said the outlook for the housing and infrastructure markets in the next few years was positive despite various different uncertainties.</p> <p> Ward said the company was still supplying a lot of wind farms, but he suspected that may fade away, although upkeep of existing structures would continue.</p> <p> Wind farms and the wider renewable industry have taken a hit from cuts in government subsidies.</p> <p> Ward said: “There is an underlying subdued situation, but I think there’s still a lot of opportunity for us.”</p> <p> Breedon plans to focus in the short term on absorbing Hope into the business, but said it was still reviewing a number of business development opportunities.</p> <p> When the results were released in March, Cantor Fitzgerald noted that Breedon managed to hold on to a meaningful amount of the lower fuel price with adjusted operating margins climbing 2.9 percentage points to 11.9%, well on the way to the medium-term target of 15%.</p> <p> The broker said it expected management to encourage investors to be cautious on the pace of margin growth, but believed low oil prices would allow further gains.</p> <p> "Overall we see these results as solid, justifying our positive stance and indicating management’s strategy remains on track. We reiterate our 'buy' recommendation and 75p target price," Cantor said at the time.</p> <p> Approaching the second half, the broker piped up again this time warning of a potential slow-down in H1.</p> <p> "Comments from peers suggest underlying aggregates volumes be down in H1 2016 compared with a year ago with delays to infrastructure projects, the switch to Highways England and the Brexit distraction," wrote Cantor's analysts.</p> <p> But the broker sees further "sizeable acquisitions and synergies" from Hope as key to continued share price performance.&nbsp;</p> <p> The broker reiterated its Buy recommendation and increased its target price from 75p to 80p, with a further significant upside predicated on further acquisitions.</p> <p> <strong>FROM CHAIRMAN PETER TOM</strong></p> <p> <strong>On the outlook...</strong></p> <p> "The outlook for our business continues to be encouraging.&nbsp; The Government remains committed to infrastructure investment and all the relevant forecasting bodies predict modest but sustained growth in construction output over the next few years.</p> <p> "This means a steady growth in demand for our products.&nbsp; Against this background, volumes are expected to recover gradually to pre-recession levels by 2020."</p> <p> <strong>On past and future acquisitions...</strong></p> <p> "Hope Construction Materials itself will significantly increase our geographic coverage and bring us a number of investment prospects, but we also see many other potential opportunities to further expand."</p> <p> <strong>On the UK's EU referendum...</strong></p> <p> "Domestically, the EU referendum could also have an adverse effect on growth. There's lots of wild speculation about what it means. We’re certainly not taking a side one way or the other, but it would be nice to get the uncertainty out of the way by June."</p> <p> "Notwithstanding this, <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BREE/Breedon-Aggregates/" rel="10682">Breedon Aggregates</a> begins an exciting new era in 2016 with the planned acquisition of Hope and we look forward to the future with confidence."</p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZpvS91X-jv8" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> <strong>ABOUT THE COMPANY</strong></p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BREE/Breedon-Aggregates/" rel="10682">Breedon Aggregates</a> Ltd, based at Breedon-on-the-Hill near East Midlands airport, is the largest independent aggregates business in the UK after the global majors.</p> <p> It runs 53 quarries, 26 asphalt plants, 61 ready-mixed concrete &amp; mortar plants and three concrete block plants in England, Wales and Scotland, employing more than 1,200 people.</p> <p> The group, which has English and Scottish divisions, has strong asset backing, with more than 500 million tonnes of mineral reserves and resources in the UK.</p> <p> It has been pursuing a policy of expansion both through the core business and via acquisitions, having announced the planned £336mln acquisition of Hope Construction Materials in November.</p> <p> Hope was formed in 2013 out of the merger of rivals Tarmac and Lafarge and its acquisition, which remains subject to regulatory approval, almost doubles the size of the business.</p> <p> The former Barr business received significant additional investment following its acquisition in 2014 and this has already started to pay dividends in improved efficiency and cost reduction.</p> <p> Other significant investments during the year included a new crushing train and block production plant at Naunton and upgrades of its vehicle fleet with the purchase of a number of new mixers and tippers.</p> <p> It believes industry prospects are encouraging, saying the UK government&nbsp;remains committed to infrastructure investment.</p> <p> The company also points to the fact that all the relevant forecasting bodies predict modest but sustained growth in construction output over the next few years.</p> <p> It acknowledges capital spending has affected the balance sheet, but says it has £10mln of cash versus £66.3mln of debt a year ago.</p> <p> <strong>THE SHARE PRICE</strong></p> <p> Breedon's share price has steadily risen from about 18p in March 2011 to about 76.25 now.</p>   Chairman Peter Tom said: "The outlook for our business continues to be encouraging. The Government remains committed to infrastructure investment and all the relevant forecasting bodies predict modest but sustained growth in construction output over the next few years."  ARTICLE        View Edit Delete
125594  Centrica 2016-05-05 11:20:00  2016-05-05 11:43:17  2016-05-05 11:24:02  Centrica biggest Footsie loser as it seeks £750mln from market  Centrica biggest Footsie loser as it seeks £750mln from market  Centrica, Footsie, market, oil and gas    centrica-biggest-footsie-loser-as-it-seeks-750mln-from-market-125594.html    <p> City analysts have described as 'surprising' a move by British Gas owner <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">Centrica</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">LON:CNA</a>) to raise £750mln to help fund acquisitions, shore up its credit rating, and pay down debt.</p> <p> Shares in the energy giant crashed almost 10% in early deals after it announced the move, to make it the biggest laggard on Footsie.</p> <p> It plans to sell 350mln shares, or around 7% of its capital, to institutional investors, and the move comes only days after an AGM in which it said the business was robust despite ailing commodity markets and an oil price around the US$45 a barrel mark.</p> <p> Around £350mln of funds will be used on the £170mln deal for the Danish trading firm&nbsp; Neas Energy A/S announced last month, while it said a&nbsp; further customer-facing acquisition was also nearing completion.</p> <p> The rest will go on debt and to reduce pressure on its credit metrics.</p> <p> Moody’s placed <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">Centrica</a>’s Baa1 credit rating on review for downgrade in February, citing low gas and power prices. Standard &amp; Poors also put its BBB+ rating on negative outlook, citing low commodity markets.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">Centrica</a> said today it wanted to retain its investment grade ratings with both agencies, which are the "most efficient" for <a href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3440">Centrica</a>'s business model, given the scale of its energy procurement activities and the resultant need for access to cost-effective short-term sources of liquidity to manage collateral requirements".</p> <p> US broker Jefferies noted: "Raising equity is an expensive way of paying down debt.</p> <p> "Nevertheless Centrica will clearly be in a modestly stronger financial position post the placing, albeit with existing shareholders facing a roughly 7pc dilution."</p> <p> He added: "Centrica's new management have been trying to establish a reputation for tight capital management; it is difficult to say whether today's announcement enhances or diminishes that reputation."</p> <p> Centrica shares plunged 9.87% to 208.3p.</p>   City analysts have described as 'surprising' a move by British Gas owner Centrica (LON:CNA) to raise £750mln by issuing shares to help fund acquisitions, shore up its credit rating, and pay down debt. Shares in the energy giant crashed almost 10% in early deals after it announced the move, to make it the biggest laggard on Footsie. It plans to sell 350mln shares, or around 7% of its capital...  NEWS        View Edit Delete
125593  Lucara Diamond Corp 2016-05-05 11:10:00  2016-05-05 11:47:27  2016-05-05 11:18:13  Lucara's monster diamond could make £50mln at Sotheby's  Lucara's monster diamond could make £50mln at Sotheby's      lucara-s-monster-diamond-could-make-50mln-at-sotheby-s-125593.html    <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/CVE:LUC/Lucara-Diamond-Corp/" rel="4651">Lucara Diamond Corp</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/TSE:LUC/Lucara-Diamond-Corp./" rel="12100">TSE:LUC</a>)&nbsp;shares were at an all-time high after it was revealed the tennis ball-sized Lesedi la <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/TSE:RON/Rona/" rel="6997">Rona</a> could fetch more than £50mln when it goes under the hammer at Sotherby’s next month.</p> <p> The 1,109 carat diamond, which is around 3bn years old, was unearthed by Lucara at its Karowe mine in Botswana last November.</p> <p> Chairman of Sotheby's jewellery division David Bennett said the discovery was "the find of a lifetime" and its auction would be unprecedented.</p> <p> If it reaches its guide price, the stone will smash the world record as the most expensive diamond sold at auction.</p> <p> A diamond named Blue Moon sold at Sotherby’s last year for £32mln and is the current title holder.</p> <p> A Hong Kong billionaire bought the blue gem as a gift for his seven year old daughter.</p> <p> The diamond’s name, Lesedi la <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/TSE:RON/Rona/" rel="6997">Rona</a> - which means “our light” in Setswana, the native language of Botswana - was chosen from 11,000 entries as part of a nationwide competition.</p> <p> It is the second largest diamond to have been discovered, dwarfed only by the one that sits alongside the crown jewels. The 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, unearthed in South Africa in 1905, now forms part of the Royal <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:SCEL/Sceptre/" rel="3850">Sceptre</a>.</p> <p> The auction is set for 29 June and Lesedi la <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/TSE:RON/Rona/" rel="6997">Rona</a> will be on display in London later this month.</p> <p> The Karowe mine in Botswana is fast becoming the world's leading source of top quality gems.</p> <p> Shares in Lucara rose 9% to CAN$3.50, the highest it’s ever been.</p> <p> <strong>--UPDATE SHARE PRICE--</strong></p>   Lucara Diamond Corp (TSE:LUC) shares were at an all-time high after it was revealed the tennis ball-sized Lesedi la Rona could fetch more than £50mln when it goes under the hammer at Sotherby’s next month. The 1,109 carat diamond, which is around 3bn years old, was unearthed by Lucara at its Karowe mine in Botswana last November.  ARTICLE        View Edit Delete
124846  BREXIT 2016-04-29 10:13:00  2016-05-05 11:31:48  2016-04-15 10:18:00  BREXIT WATCH - Service sector slide blamed on leave concerns  BREXIT WATCH - Service sector slide blamed on leave concerns  BREXIT, services, UK,     brexit-watch-service-sector-slide-blamed-on-leave-concerns-124846.html    <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> May 5&nbsp;</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Fears that Britons might actually vote to leave the EU has pushed services sector activity in the UK to a three–year low, according to a survey from Markit/<a href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:CHTR/Charter/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="3238">Charter</a>ed Institute of Procurement &amp; Supply.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> April’s score of 52.3, down from 53.7 in March, was the lowest since February 2013.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> David Noble, head of CIPS, said: "The looming EU referendum has had a profound effect.”</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Prices are relatively stagnant he said while new orders are being delayed at a time when the National Living Wage has seen input price inflation hit a 27-month high.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Better news for the Leave campaign came from Moody’s.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> While the credit rating agency said banks would face higher costs in the event of a Leave vote, it would have little impact on the UK's money market/fund management business overall, a sector it estimates is worth £200bn.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> May 4</h3> <p> In the run up to the referendum vote (now less than two months away) British banks are preparing contingency plans in case the country votes to leave Europe.</p> <p> Frozen capital markets and volatile currency in the wake of an exit vote may make it more difficult for banks to operate, so they are reportedly stockpiling asset that can be easily sold to support their business.</p> <p> For example, a report in the Wall Street Journal claimed <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LLOY/Lloyds-Banking-Group/" rel="2992">Lloyds Banking Group</a> Plc (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LLOY/Lloyds-Banking-Group/" rel="2992">LON:LLOY</a>) has some £7bn of assets set aside, which would equate to about half its funding needs for a year.</p> <p> The same report said <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BARC/Barclays/" rel="2989">Barclays</a> also has a larger than normal levels of liquid assets.</p> <p> Elsewhere, the uncertainty was palpable as the sale of an British buy-to-let mortgage lender was put on hold.</p> <p> Sky News reported today that the proposed £400mln auction for <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/PRIVATE:CHTR/Charter/" rel="3238">Charter</a> Court Financial Services won’t go ahead before the vote, due to concerns among possible private equity buyers.</p> <p> It is the kind of uncertainty highlighted by financial consultancy firm deVere Group which says investors should consider ‘Brexit proofing’ their portfolios.</p> <p> “The historic vote in June is currently looking incredibly close,” said Nigel Green, deVere Group chief executive.</p> <p> “As such, investors should now be considering how they can Brexit-proof their portfolio to mitigate the effects of a fall in the value of UK assets should the Leave campaign triumph on June 23.”</p> <p> Green highlighted that the debate over the upcoming referendum has already created considerable uncertainty, and that many investments have already been put on hold.</p> <p> “This uncertainty and volatility can be expected to intensify if Britain decides to leaves the EU,” he said.</p> <p> “Almost certainly Sterling, UK equities and government bonds will come under further pressure.”</p> <p> To protect portfolios against Brexit risk, investors ought to increase exposure to overseas investments.</p> <p> “It could be a timely decision to rebalance portfolios in favour of international stocks, bonds and perhaps property,” Green added.</p> <p> “Indeed, many investors should be considering a rebalance anyway, regardless of Brexit.”</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> May 3</h3> <p> Less than two months to go and US broker Citi highlights the 'close race' according to polls.</p> <p> Betting has shifted more strongly in favour of 'remain' last month, but the broker put the probability of an exit at 30-40%, but emphasised the "uncertainty in polling".</p> <p> Interestingly, Citi sees the effect of President Obama's speech and the Panama Papers as probably negligible.</p> <p> "Polls show that Brexit supporters are more likely to vote than pro-EU voters, although there is some evidence that the latter are becoming more enthusiastic. Even “certainty to vote” is imperfect. In recent elections, actual turnout undershot versus the share of people rating themselves as 10/10 certain to vote, especially for younger voters,"&nbsp; said Citi.</p> <p> Elsewhere today, the lobby group Britain Stronger in Europe said £250bn worth of trade would be put at risk if Britain left the EU. That business is with member states but also over 50 countries that have free-trade agreements with the bloc. Those in favour of 'out' however argue their opponents are not consistent with forecasts.</p> <p> Elsewhere, Brexiteers will have been boosted by reports that Germany is once more pushing for an EU army encompassing all 28 member states with a joint HQ and shared military planning.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> APRIL 29</h3> <p> As widely acknowledged, markets hate uncertainty, and the forthcoming referendum on the UK's membership of the EU provides a big dollop of indecision.</p> <p> According to the latest Deal Flow Predictor (DFP) report from Intralink, which provides software and services for managing mergers &amp; acquisitions (M&amp;A) transactions, the uncertainty is beginning to cause early-stage M&amp;A activity to slow.</p> <p> Meanwhile, the Intralinks Global M&amp;A Sentiment Survey reported that 77% of those who expressed an opinion said that a vote to leave the EU would have a negative impact on M&amp;A activity, both in the UK and Europe.</p> <p> In other words, a demerger would be bad for mergers.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> APRIL 28</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The Leave camp’s bid to get back on the front foot after the weekend's unhelpful intervention from US President Barack Obama got a boost on Wednesday.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Eight economists including Patrick Minford, famous for helping to shape Thatcherism as an adviser to the Iron Lady in the 1980s, reckoned Brexit could boost the UK economy by 4%.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Minford claimed the UK could throw off the shackles of the EU while still keeping single market access – although Norway, which pays for access and has no say in setting the rules, might disagree with that.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The Economists for Brexit group, which also includes Roger Bootle of Capital Economics and London Mayor Boris Johnson’s adviser Gerard Lyons, also claimed an exit could cut joblessness by 75,000.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Their intervention came a day after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation &amp; Development warned that leaving the EU would be like imposing a “tax” of one month’s income on British workers.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Meanwhile, the good folk in the press office at the European Investment Bank (EIB) seem to have been busy recently.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> First came a press release on Tuesday announcing £56mln of EIB funding for seven new secondary schools in Yorkshire.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Then, hey presto, another one on Thursday revealing the bank’s biggest ever loan to a university.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The EIB, which is owned by the EU’s member states and provides long-term project lending, unveiled a £280mln loan to University College London to develop its Bloomsbury and UCL East campuses.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> The government, always keen to sing the virtues of the EU of course, was fulsome in its praise.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Jim O’Neill, commercial secretary to the Treasury, said: “It is a strong example of the benefits that EIB money can bring to support our leading universities across the country.”</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Indeed – and shame on all those cynics who might attribute the frenetic news-flow to the small matter of an EU referendum in the offing.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> APRIL 27</h3> <p> Concerns about Brexit likely played a role in the slowdown in UK economic growth in the first quarter.</p> <p> Gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 0.4% quarter-on-quarter from 0.6% in the final quarter of 2015, in line with consensus forecasts.</p> <p> “The slowdown in the first quarter likely marks the end of the UK economy’s outperformance relative to other G7 economies,” suggested Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.</p> <p> Tombs, a man born with a name ideal for the “dismal science” of economics, reckons Brexit fears will likely take a greater toll on GDP growth in the second quarter.</p> <p> But he opined that the downward trend in GDP growth since 2014 suggests that the EU referendum cannot be blamed for all of the economy’s ills.</p> <p> Meanwhile, the April Distributive Trades Survey showed the sharpest fall in retail sales in more than four years and, guess what, this “fuels suspicion that consumers may be reining in their spending amid increasing uncertainty ahead of June's EU referendum”, according to Howard Archer, chief European and UK economics at <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NYSE:IHS/IHS/" rel="6747">IHS</a>&nbsp;Global Insight.</p> <p> Elsewhere, reports have yet to emerge that this week's unseasonal snowfall in London was due to Brexit fears.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> APRIL 26</h3> <p> A quieter day after the excitement President Obama’s comments generated at the weekend.</p> <p> The first poll since US President’s warning that the UK would lose influence outside of the EU suggests not much has changed yet.</p> <p> An exclusive ORB poll for the Telegraph suggested 51% to stay in, 46% to leave and 3% don’t knows, but a significant chunk added they might change their minds before voting day.</p> <p> The pollster said it was probably too early for the vote to reflect Obama’s comments, which have been seen as a substantial boost to the Remain camp.</p> <p> Meanwhile, prominent Leave campaigner <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/politics/chrisgrayling">Chris Grayling</a> suggested that pulling out of the EU could solve the junior doctors’ dispute with the government.</p> <p> The leader of the House of Commons said that the money being disputed amounted to 5% of Britain’s contribution to the EU, which could be switched to pay the doctors.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> APRIL 25</h3> <p style="text-align: justify;"> President Obama’s warning over the weekend that Britain might have to wait a decade for a trade deal with the US if it votes to leave EU dominates the headlines debate again today.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> London mayor Boris Johnson added to his earlier criticism of the US president’s intervention by suggesting Britain would not 'bullied' by the President.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Those in favour in leaving the EU are also quick to point out that Obama is hardly a fan of the UK, having made the fewest visits to the UK of any the recent occupants of the White House.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Elsewhere, the FT reports that the European Investment Bank has agreed £1bn to the UK for affordable housing, its largest ever social housing loan. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the EIB added that leaving the EU would put its British activities at risk.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> Odds at the start of week suggest the Remain side is crushing it still with betting exchange Betfair's odds 1/3 in favour of staying in and 11/4 against to leave the EU.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> APRIL 22</h3> <p> US President Barack Obama has stuck his two cents' worth into the Brexit debate, urging voters to stay in the EU, citing the strong voice the UK has within the group.</p> <p> He has also suggested the UK will be able to fight terrorism more effectively if it remains.</p> <p> But his comments have fuelled anger among leave campaigners and attracted calls that he is meddling in areas he shouldn't.</p> <p> On more market related themes, City firm Liberum has looked at sectors and stocks and the notion of how to play the market ahead of the vote on June 23.</p> <p> It says the probability of Brexit is still close to 40% and says it is cautious on real estate and challenger banks ahead of the referendum but happy to own pharma and tech firms. Stocks most exposed to a Brexit include housebuilding, support services and recruitment, retail and travel, it suggests.</p> <p> Elsewhere, former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has reportedly said Brexit would lead to a successful referendum on Scottish independence within two years.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"> APRIL 21</h3> <p> European Central Bank president Mario Draghi warned on Thursday that the debate over Britain’s membership of the EU had already hit markets – and was set to continue to do so.</p> <p> In comments to a news conference at the bank's headquarters in Frankfurt, Draghi highlighted the falls in sterling that the discussion over the UK’s future had caused.</p> <p> The bank boss said he expected the volatility to continue at least until the referendum on June 23.</p> <p> But, in an apparent sideswipe at those who believe a British exit would hurt the EU more than it would the UK, he said it would only have “limited impact” on the Eurozone’s recovery.</p> <p> He also appeared to imply that he believed the UK’s continued membership was the best option, saying Britain and the EU had a "mutually beneficial" relationship.</p> <p> Also on Thursday, a London-listed cancer drug developer which is part of a consortium that has won an €8.3mln EU research grant, highlighted the benefits of cross-border scientific co-operation in the bloc.</p> <p> Ian Walters, chief executive of <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SALV/SalvaRx/" rel="14564">SalvaRx</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SALV/SalvaRx/" rel="14564">LON:SALV</a>), said: "Academic and private collaborations like this are critical for propelling scientific discovery and development forward."</p> <h3> <span style="text-align: justify;">APRIL 20</span></h3> <p> A group of more than 200 entrepreneurs has warned the economic shock of Brexit would be "hugely damaging" to opportunities for start-up businesses.</p> <p> Entrepreneurs for In, which includes the founders of Skype, Ebookers, Jack Wills and Yo! Sushi among its ranks, wrote in an open letter that Britain is the best place to start a business, something that would be damaged if it left the EU.</p> <p> Britain's special relationship with the US would also be damaged if it left the EU, according to former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. "It would reduce Britain's very positive influence as an ally of the US," said Summers, who served in the Bill Clinton administration.</p> <p> Something for the out campaign from former Bank of England governor Lord King. The costs of leaving have been exaggerated, he said, and rather&nbsp;than a reasoned debate over the UK's place in Europe the&nbsp;campaigning had descended into a public relations exercise.</p> <h3> APRIL 19</h3> <p> Britain would face a decade of disruption and trade negotiations, according to <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BLT/BHP-Billiton/" rel="3118">BHP Billiton</a>’s (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BLT/BHP-Billiton/" rel="3118">LON:BLT</a>) Scottish-born chief executive Andrew Mackenzie.</p> <p> A BREXIT could see the UK as a ‘rule taker’ rather than being among Europe’s ‘rule makers’, he says.</p> <p> “In the EU, Britain helps to write rules taken up across the world that promote free trade and social good, like environmental protection. By leaving, the UK would stop being rule makers and become rule takers,” Mackenzie will reportedly say at a panel today for the Centre for European Reform.</p> <p> As head of one of the world’s largest mining and metal production company Mackenzie is more experienced than most in dealing with international customers, particularly China, and he reckons the People’s Republic takes Britain more seriously because it is part of the EU.</p> <p> “The unknowns of Brexit are unwelcome at a time when Europe and the world economy need certainty and stability,” the mining boss will add.</p> <p> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BLT/BHP-Billiton/" rel="3118">BHP Billiton</a>, worth £19.5bn, is the ninth largest FTSE 100 constituent by market capitalisation.</p> <p> Elsewhere, UK justice secretary and outspoken BREXIT campaigner Michael Gove claimed the big three international economic groups - the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, and World Bank – are all wrong about their respective predictions for the fallout that would come as a result of Britain leaving the EU.</p> <p> Gove instead argued there would be no economic shock from a vote to BREXIT.</p> <p> Pollsters have the Remain camp slightly ahead.&nbsp; A poll by ORB International, for the Daily Telegraph, found that 52% of respondents would vote to stay in the EU if the referendum were held now.</p> <p> There are now 64 days until the referendum.</p> <h3> 18 APRIL: BREXIT predicted to cost £4,300 per family</h3> <p> There are 65 days to go and the Treasury has produced a report saying UK households would be each £4,300 worse off in the event of an "out" vote.</p> <p> The report also suggests the UK economy would be 6% smaller by 2030. Chancellor George Osborne, who will launch the report today, said the referendum was the most important political decision since WW2 and described it as economic illiteracy to believe all the benefits of being in the EU can be maintained if the country leaves.</p> <p> But one Eurosceptic Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin described it on Sky News as an abuse of the Chancellor's powers to use the Treasury "for propagadist" tactics like this.</p> <h3> 15 APRIL: UK real estate seen at threat from BREXIT</h3> <p> There are still 68 days until the eagerly anticipated EU referendum, but that hasn’t stopped brokers and analysts already outlying the potential impacts of ‘BREXIT’ on markets.</p> <p> Today it was the turn of the UK real estate sector from broker Liberum, which said the sector “is one of few listed sectors that will be directly impacted by the outcome of the BREXIT referendum.”</p> <p> The broker says uncertainty is currently weighing, but things could get worse with an out vote.</p> <p> If voters decide to leave the EU, “an out vote could lengthen a hiatus in decision making for occupiers and investment demand, particularly for London” Liberum said.</p> <p> But if the vote is to stay in the EU, Liberum said investors will likely see a relief rally, with rental markets particularly bolstered by excess demand and a lack of supply.</p> <p> For investors in the likes of <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SVS/Savills/" rel="3399">Savills</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SVS/Savills/" rel="3399">LON:SVS</a>), <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SHB/Shaftesbury/" rel="3109">Shaftesbury</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SHB/Shaftesbury/" rel="3109">LON:SHB</a>) and online giants Rightmove (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:RMV/Rightmove-Group/" rel="3562">LON:RMV</a>) and <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ZPLA/Zoopla/" rel="10771">Zoopla</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ZPLA/Zoopla/" rel="10771">LON:ZPLA</a>) it’s wait-and-see time until June 23.</p>   There are 65 days to go and the Treasury has produced a report saying UK households would be each £4,300 worse off in the event of an "out" vote. The report also suggests the UK economy would be 6% smaller by 2030. Chancellor George Osborne, who will launch the report today,   REPORT        View Edit Delete
125583  MARKET OPEN 2016-05-05 08:17:00  2016-05-05 15:28:30  2016-05-05 08:31:16  UK shares gain ground; Alecto Minerals a notable riser  UK shares gain ground; Alecto Minerals a notable riser      uk-shares-gain-ground-alecto-minerals-a-notable-riser-125583.html    <p> Telecoms giant BT (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:BT.A/BT-Group/" rel="3366">LON:BT.A</a>) and grocer Morrison's (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:MRW/Morrisons/" rel="3169">LON:MRW</a>) helped boost Footsie on Thursday,&nbsp; as traders await UK service sector data later today.</p> <p> Small cap shares were also headed higher after losses on Wednesday.</p> <p> BT dialled up a 3.3% rise to 454p as it unveiled a £6bn broadband investment programme just weeks after Ofcom decided against a forcible spin-off of its Openreach arm.</p> <p> Gavin Patterson, BT’s chief executive, said the three year programme would expand superfast broadband and 4G coverage to 95% of the country, or a minimum of 10 mln homes, by 2020.</p> <p> Two million new premises will get fibre optic connections he said.</p> <p> Elsewhere, Morrison's trading update cheered the market, after&nbsp; Sainsbury's disappointing final numbers yesterday.</p> <p> Shares in the UK's fourth largest supermarket added 2.19% to 191.60p in early deals as its attempts to stabilise the business appear to be paying off amid stiff competition and it unveiled the second consecutive quarter of sales growth.</p> <p> The group said like-for-like sales, not including fuel rose 0.7% in the 13 weeks to May 1. That came on top of an 0.1% like-for-like sales rise in the preceeding quarter.</p> <p> At the time of writing, FTSE100 is up 21.73 to 6,133, while the FTSE AIM100 is also higher - up 0.16% to 3,382 and the FTSE AIM All share index gained 0.10% to 724.610.</p> <p> A notable London riser was gold explorer <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3746">Alecto Minerals PLC</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:ALO/Alecto-Minerals-PLC/" rel="3746">LON:ALO</a>), which has renewed the permits for its Kerboule project in Burkina Faso for a further three years. Shares added 8% to stand at 0.14p.</p> <p> The renewal will significantly strengthen its hand when it comes to finding a partner for the project, said Mark Jones, chief executive.</p> <p> Kerboule, inside the Gassel-Manere and Arae exploration permit areas, has a non-verified resource of 6.2Mt grading at 1.16g/t gold or 231,000 ounces.</p> <p> The big riser was <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:VIS/Vitesse-Media/" rel="1072">Vitesse Media</a> PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:VIS/Vitesse-Media/" rel="1072">LON:VIS</a>), which rocketed over 45% to 2p a share after reporting&nbsp; several board changes.</p> <p> The number of non-executive directors is reduced from five to three to reflect the more streamlined operations, it said.</p> <p> Digital music and radio platform <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">7digital</a> Group PLC (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:7DIG/7digital/" rel="8438">LON:7DIG</a>)advanced over 14% to 7p a pop after it won a contract with a fast growing social media platform , which will contribute to the AIM firm's revenues in 2016.</p> <p> Conversely, LGO Energy Plc's (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:LGO/Lgo-Energy-PLC/" rel="562">LON:LGO</a>) shares dropped over 18% to 0.23p as it said it had restructured its debt and simultaneously raised £3.25mln of new funds from investors.</p> <p> Another loser was Kibo Mining (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:KIBO/Kibo-Mining-PLC/" rel="3803">LON:KIBO</a>), down 9.76% to 4.63p, adding to declines on Wednesday after it announced a definitive feasibility study for the power station part of the Mbeya project.</p> <p align="LEFT"> -------------------------------------------</p> <p align="LEFT"> The FTSE 100 started this morning upbeat, rising 0.15% or around 9 points to 6,121.69, despite tough trading for equities.</p> <p align="LEFT"> BT was the biggest winner, up %3 to 452.75p due to a 15% rise in annual profits to £3.03bn, helped by stronger demand for broadband and TV services.</p> <p align="LEFT"> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:CNA/Centrica/" rel="3440">Centrica</a> was the biggest loser this morning, opening at just under 6% lower than yesterday's close, after it announced its was placing shares to cut debt and fund acquisitions.</p> <p align="LEFT"> <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:MRW/Morrisons/" rel="3169">Morrisons</a> saw its second consecutive period of like-for-like sales growth, after some 15 previous quarters of decline.</p> <p align="LEFT"> &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p align="LEFT"> <strong>Preview at 7.00am</strong></p> <p align="LEFT"> London’s FTSE 100 is expected to start Thursday positively, despite tough trading elsewhere for equities.</p> <p> Much of Thursday’s macro focus will be turning to tomorrow’s US employment stats, with April’s non-farm payroll figures due.</p> <p align="LEFT"> Last night Wall Street closed lower. The Dow Jones shed 99 points, or 0.56%, to 17,651. The S&amp;P 500 dipped 0.6% to 2,051 and the Nasdaq was down 0.79% to 4,725.</p> <p> In Asia equity markets were also lower. Japan’s Nikkei fell 3.1% to 16,147, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped just 0.3% to 20,451.</p> <p align="LEFT"> The Shanghai Composite was essentially flat at 2,992.</p> <p> Similarly, Australia’s ASX 200 was largely unmoved at 5,272.</p> <p align="LEFT"> In London, IG Markets sees the FTSE 100 starting some 30 points higher as the spreadbetting and CFD firm calling the blue chip benchmark at 6,132 to 6,137.</p>     REPORT          View Edit Delete
125591  Trinity Mirror 2016-05-05 10:00:00  2016-05-05 12:49:30  2016-05-05 10:01:05  The sun sets on the New Day  The sun sets on the New Day      the-sun-sets-on-the-new-day-125591.html    <p> The presses are set to close for the last time tomorrow on Britain’s first national newspaper in 30 years, after just 10 weeks in circulation.</p> <p> Publisher <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TNI/Trinity-Mirror/" rel="3061">Trinity Mirror</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TNI/Trinity-Mirror/" rel="3061">LON:TNI</a>) cited disappointing sales of the daily as the main reason for its closure.</p> <p> "We tried everything we could,” said editor of the New Day Alison Philips, but conceded that it didn’t have enough readers to carry on.</p> <p> “The response over the 50 issues we have published has been extraordinary,” said Philips.</p> <p> It was launched in February aimed at time poor readers. The paper had no website, but a respectable social media presence.</p> <p> "I have never worked on a title with such engagement from readers. There clearly were many people who truly loved the idea of a different kind of newspaper which spoke to them. But the reality was we didn't have enough of them on a daily basis,” added Philips.</p> <p> Two million free copies were distributed on the day of its launch. It then cost 25p for the first two weeks, before rising to 50p.</p> <p> “Although the New Day has received many supportive reviews and built a strong following on <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/NASDAQ:FB/Facebook/" rel="7653">Facebook</a>, the circulation for the title is below our expectations,” said <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TNI/Trinity-Mirror/" rel="3061">Trinity Mirror</a> in an announcement Thursday.</p> <p> But the publisher saw the upside: “The launch and subsequent closure have provided new insights into enhancing our newspapers and a number of these opportunities will be considered over time.”</p> <p> Media heads across the UK seemed united in their derision of the paper.</p> <p> Jane Martinson, head of media at the Guardian, said it was a “terrible time to launch a newspaper,” and that the whole idea was ill-conceived.</p> <p> The closure comes only weeks after the Independent ceased its print editions to concentrate on online publishing, a move New Day is unlikely to take considering it doesn’t have a website.</p> <p> Analysts at Liberum said the closure came as “no surprise”.</p> <p> It’s been a tough time for <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:TNI/Trinity-Mirror/" rel="3061">Trinity Mirror</a>, the UK’s largest print publisher; it reported a 20% fall in print ad revenues in a trading statement ahead of the AGM on Thursday.</p> <p> The group, which also publishes the Daily Mirror and People, said that the market had been a volatile one in the first four months of this year.</p> <p> Newspaper sales fell by 4.5% year on year, down to the ongoing tough trading conditions faced by publishers, it said.</p> <p> Its digital income however, which is building on a comparatively low base compared to other publishers, grew by over 18% last month alone.</p> <p> “We continue to focus on the delivery of our strategy, namely growing our digital audience and revenue, coupled with tight management of the cost base,” said the group.</p> <p> It expects performance for the year to be in line with market expectations.</p> <p> Broker Liberum said there is no change to its full year expectations and that improved trends in April pointed to a potential upside.</p>   The presses are set to close for the last time tomorrow on Britain’s first national newspaper in 30 years, after just 10 weeks in circulation. Publisher Trinity Mirror (LON:TNI) cited disappointing sales of the daily as the main reason for its closure.  ARTICLE          View Edit Delete
125590  Goals Soccer 2016-05-05 09:48:00  2016-05-05 09:53:03  2016-05-05 09:53:03  Goals Soccer sees signs of recovery  Goals Soccer sees signs of recovery  five-a-side, soccer, appointment, chief executive    goals-soccer-sees-signs-of-recovery-125590.html    <p style="text-align: justify;"> Five–a-side specialist <a href="-##!##-/LON:GOAL/Goals-Soccer/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="398">Goals Soccer</a> Centres&nbsp;PLC (<a href="-##!##-/LON:GOAL/Goals-Soccer/" class="companyPopupTrigger" rel="398">LON:GOAL</a>) hit the target with a more upbeat message for shareholders at its annual meeting.</p> <p> Goals is going through a period of boardroom and operational upheaval after its first loss for 12 years in 2015.</p> <p> The 11.5% decline in revenues seen in the second half of last year has been halted said new chairman Nick Basing, though like-for-like sales were still marginally negative for the first 18 weeks of this year.</p> <p> This first quarter comparative was positive sales growth.</p> <p> Basing joined in March and instigated a review of all aspects of the company.</p> <p> &nbsp;A new chief executive is set to be appointed ‘imminently’, while Scott Lloyd, one of the founders of the Next Generation fitness club chain, has joined the board. A senior independent non-exec is also expected to join shortly.</p> <p> Basing added that the strategic review should be concluded next week and the results published shortly.</p> <p> Shares rose 3% to 98p.</p>   Goals is going through a period of boardroom and operational upheaval after its first loss for 12 years in 2015. The 11.5% decline in revenues seen in the second half of last year has been halted said new chairman Nick Basing, though like-for-like sales were still marginally negative for the first 18 weeks of this year.  NEWS        View Edit Delete
125589  Spectra Systems Corp 2016-05-05 09:28:00  2016-05-05 09:43:53  2016-05-05 09:43:03  Spectra Systems lands first big deal for TruBrand  Spectra Systems lands first big deal for TruBrand      spectra-systems-lands-first-big-deal-for-trubrand-125589.html    <p> Shares in <a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SPSY/Spectra-Systems-Corp/" rel="4012">Spectra Systems Corp</a> (<a class="companyPopupTrigger" href="-##!##-/LON:SPSY/Spectra-Systems-Corp/" rel="4012">LON:SPSY</a>) advanced in Thursday’s early deals after the authentication specialist landed a deal with a Chinese customer.</p> <p> TruBrand, a smartphone based system, has been contracted for six years by a China based label manufacturing company.</p> <p> The technology allows customers to verify the authenticity of products by scanning information embedded on labels and packaging.</p> <p> Spectra told investors the deal is the first important adoption of its technology, and it is expected to get underway in January 2017.</p> <p> Dr Nabil Lawandy, Spectra chief executive, described it as a critical milestone in the acceleration of sales for the new technology.</p> <p> “TruBrand eliminates the need for costly readers and allows the consumer to authenticate the product themselves,” he added. “TruBrand has a multitude of applications including very large scale, multibillion unit products such as tobacco in China and could be a transformative source of revenue for the company.”</p> <p> Lawandy added: "The board is very pleased to see additional long term contracted revenue growth in areas outside of the banknote industry and is pleased to confirm that the company is on track with expectations for the year."</p> <p> On AIM, Spectra shares gained 1.38p or 5.58% to change hands at 26p each.</p>   Shares in Spectra Systems Corp advanced in Thursday’s early deals after the authentication specialist landed a deal with a Chinese customer. TruBrand, a smartphone based system, has been contracted for six years by a China based clothing label manufacturing company.  NEWS      View Edit Delete

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