SATURDAY'S WEEKLY NEWS ROUND-UP

The news roundups, which are broken down by the sector, provide investors with an opportunity to read a summary of the most interesting news of the past five days of trading in just one story as they prepare for another busy week.

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Proactive Investors Mid & Sml Cap Weekly Roundup - Renewables and Cleantech among key themes

January 26 2013, 9:30am
Proactive Investors Mid & Sml Cap Weekly Roundup - Renewables and Cleantech among key themes

Renewable energy and cleantech was a strong theme this week. And the standout performer was Renewable Energy Generation (LON:REG), which soared after two breakthrough announcements, starting with the commencement of commercial operations at the 6 megawatt South Sharpley project in Durham.

Around 24 hrs later the firm announced a bigger breakthrough, with a £32mln deal to sell two wind farms, including South Sharpley, to American fund manager Blackrock.

The tie-up also brings the AIM-quoted firm service contracts to manage the wind farms and lays the foundations for future deals for other projects.

City analysts say the transaction value, equating to £2mln per MW of capacity, suggests the company's whole portfolio would be worth in the order of 112p per share.

Another renewable energy firm, Kedco (LON:KED), also revealed exciting wind power plans this week, with the signing of a co-development agreement for three wind farms in the North West of Ireland,

It will fund all associated pre-construction development costs related to the projects, which have a total potential capacity of up to 30 MW, in return for 50% of each project.

On Monday, chief executive Gerry Madden said Ireland is a very attractive location for the development of wind energy projects, particularly given the prospect of a potential export market for renewable energy in the UK.

Indeed, a formal commitment towards a landmark deal was agreed between Ireland and the UK that would allow ‘green’ energy exports from the country.

Elsewhere fellow clean tech/energy groups TEG (LON:TEG) and Symphony Environmental Technology (LON:SYM) continued to strengthen this week following positive statements earlier this month.

And Roman Abramovich-backed fuel cell developer AFC Energy (LON:AFC) revealed a technical breakthrough that could have significant and very positive commercial ramifications for the hydrogen fuel cell specialist.

It has successfully extended the lifespan of its electrodes to more than six months, which is an important landmark for AFC as it develops the money-making potential of the technology - which must have a minimum of three months’ electrode life to be economic.

At six months there is now potential to generate significant revenues and also open up new commercial opportunities, the company says.

Among AIM's natural resource stocks Iberia focused explorer and mine developer W Resources (LON:SRES) was the stand out performer, advancing around 60% this week.

On Tuesday, it secured government approval to develop the La Parrilla tungsten project in Spain. It expects to generate €7mln a year from the operation, which is expected to begin producing the second half of this year.

Iron ore producer London Mining (LON:LOND) was also among the risers as it revealed an expectation beating production figures for 2012.

And on Monday Atlantic Coal (LON:ATC) took control of the Pott & Bannon coal mine, near its Stockton operation in Pennsylvania, in what it called a ‘transformational’ deal – adding the equivalent of 4.1mln tonnes of washed, saleable anthracite.

On Wednesday, KEFI Minerals (LON:KEFI) hinted at the possibility for a fast-track project to start gold mining  in Saudi Arabia after it said it may have already unearthed between 90,000 and 200,000 ounces of resources - although it stressed these are in-house estimates and are not currently compliant with the JORC standard.

It owns 40% of the project alongside a Saudi engineering firm, and it is now working on metallurgical tests ahead of pre-feasibility study, possibly coming later this year.

In the oil and gas sector Italy focussed Sound (LON:SOU) was a top performer, rising over 40%, after it told investors that formal approval for the high impact Nervesa appraisal project is due by the end of the month.

And then yesterday it revealed that a significant overhang in the stock had been cleared - as Henderson Global Investors bought the company's shares from Manxdale Holdings, a company which has been funding Sound via a staggered share placing since July.

Sound chief James Parsons said it was a very encouraging development and he would continue to actively market the company to other institutional investors

Irish oil firm Providence Resources (LON:PVR) reported an early stage, and prospective, estimate that the Polaris prospect in the Rathlin Basin, off the Northern Ireland's coast, could contain over 500mln barrels of oil in place.

Meanwhile Russia focussed Urals Energy (LON:UEN) shares gained 30% this week as investors continued to get behind the company's turnaround story.

It is understood that having secured the group's future in 2013, the company is now ready to pursue a new growth phase, is may involve some M&A and joint ventures.

China-based petrochemical firm HaiKe (LON:HAIK) shares tanked nearly 40% today as it warn of a full year loss for 2012. It blamed a sluggish economy and weakened demand, as well as ‘difficult challenges’ for domestic oil refineries across China. Traders say the firm is on a slippery slope, with margins being squeezed ‘left, right and centre’.

API Group (LON:API) was another faller as it responded to speculation by telling investors that indicative proposals to buy the company were priced below yesterday’s 90p closing level. The Stockport based speciality manufacturer put itself up for sale last year.

Other AIM stocks on the drop this week included Travelzest (LON:TVZ) and Phorm (LON:PHRM).


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