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Proactive news summary: Falcon Oil & Gas, Summit Corporation, Metminco, fastjet, Rurelec


It was mostly quiet on the small cap front on Friday, but several companies perked up proceedings.

Falcon Oil & Gas (LON:FOG) gave its shareholders an early weekend treat when it jumped 8% to 12.9p after agreeing a deal to remove the 4% royalty over its assets in the Beetaloo basin, in Australia.

This piece of corporate housekeeping comes as Falcon pursues a farm-out deal.

The AIM-listed explorer is paying US$999,000 up front, then it will pay another US$999,000 to buy out a 3% overriding royalty interest. The second payment will be made once a farm-out deal is completed.

The remaining 1% royalty can be bought, at Falcon’s option, for US$5mln over the next five years.

“We are delighted to have negotiated this reduction in the overriding royalty on our Australian assets,” chief executive Philip O’Quigley said in a statement.

“This transaction should help to further progress our farm-out negotiations, which are at an advanced stage.

“Together with the significant seismic programme completed last year, this transaction further increases the value of our assets in the Northern Territory.”

Shares in drug developer Summit Corporation (LON:SUMM) may not have got the shot in the arm it was hoping for, but twice the normal number of shares traded changed hands on the day.

Summit received UK regulatory approval to start patient trials of its SMT C1100 drug.

SMT C1100 is being developed for use in the treatment of the fatal muscle wasting disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). It has the potential to treat all patients with DMD, regardless of the underlying genetic fault.

The Phase 1b trial will be a dose-escalating, open-label study and will be conducted in a total of 12 paediatric patients with DMD, aged between 5 and 11 years.

The study will evaluate the safety and tolerability of SMT C1100, and will measure blood concentration levels of the drug as Summit aims to confirm the dose to be used in a subsequent patient proof of concept efficacy trial.

Elsewhere, Metminco’s (LON:MNC, ASX:MNC) search for a strategic partner for its huge Los Calatos copper project in Peru continues, it revealed.

Budget African airline fastjet (LON:FJET) meanwhile announced that its first flight from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya in south west Tanzania departed on schedule on Friday.

fastjet said bookings on the new route are extremely strong with passenger loads of over 90% on the first day's flights.

Victoria Oil & Gas’s (LON:VOG) long-running dispute with RSM long-running dispute with RSM over the Logbaba gas field in Cameroon is set to run a bit longer.

The Secretariat of the International Chamber Commerce (ICC) has informed the company that the ICC International Court of Arbitration has extended the time limit for the case until 29 November 2013.

Previously, the company had been informed that the decision would be made by the end of October.

Logbaba is Victoria's flagship asset. RSM Production Corporation maintains that it still holds a 38% interest in the field, whereas Victoria claims it has forfeited the stake.

South America-focused power company Rurelec (LON:RUR) rose 4% to 14p on Friday. It revealed late in the trading day on Thursday that finance director Andrew Morris, formerly the company’s non-executive chairman, dipped into his own pocket and bought nearly £45,000 worth of shares.

He made the purchase at a slight premium to the market price the day before.

On Tuesday, senior independent non-executive director Brian Rowbotham snapped up £25,000 in shares at 12.5p.

The pair of buys has helped the shares up 15% this week.

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