The FTSE-100 finished yesterday's session 0.19% higher at 7,762.94, whilst the FTSE AIM All-Share index was down 0.64% at 1,065.41. In continental Europe, the CAC-40 finished 0.29% lower at 5,488.55 whilst the DAX was down 0.59% at 13,202.90.
Last night in New York, the Dow Jones added 0.81% to close at 25,574.73. The S&P-500 gained 0.70% to end at 2,767.56 and the Nasdaq closed %0.81% higher at 7,211.78.
In Asian markets this morning, the Nikkei 225 was down 81.08 points (0.34%) at 23,629.35 and the Hang Seng was up 166.49 points (0.53%) at 31,286.88. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite was 3.09 points lower at 3,422.26.
In early trade today, WTI crude was down 0.28% at $63.62 per barrel and Brent was unchanged at $69.26 per barrel.
Government to hold pensions talks with Carillion
The government will meet Carillion and the Pensions Regulator on Friday to discuss the giant services and construction company's deficit. Carillion, which is one of the government's biggest contractors, is struggling under £1.5bn of debt, including a pension shortfall of £587m. The company held talks with its lenders and advisers in London on Wednesday. However, no announcement has been made on a business plan to secure its future. Carillion is the UK's second largest construction company and employs 43,000 people globally. It has been awarded contracts to build part of £56bn High Speed 2 railway, including the first phase of the line which will run between London and Birmingham and is scheduled to open in 2026. Carillion also manages nearly 900 schools, provides services to the NHS and works with National Grid.
Source: BBC News
Armadale Capital (LON:ACP) 2.25p – Speculative Buy
Armadale announced that it has entered into a heads of agreement (HOA) with Weghsteen Capital (on behalf of Radismore Limited) to sell its 80% interest in the Mpokoto Gold project in the Katanga Province of the DRC for a total consideration of US$562,500 (payable in cash over three stages) and a 1.5% production royalty. The HOA is subject to execution of a formal binding agreement, which is expected in Q1 2018. Radismore has stated that it is committed to advancing Mpokoto to gold production within two years. Mpokoto has a current resource estimate of 678,000oz grading 1.45g/t Au.
Our view: Selling its non-core investments allows Armadale to focus on fast-tracking its Mahenge Liandu graphite project in Tanzania while retaining an interest in any future production at Mpokoto without the risks associate with development and mining. Given that mining licences are already in place, production from Mpokoto is feasible within two years. Armadale continues to develop the Mahenge Liandu graphite project with results from a scoping study and a drilling program aimed at increasing the current resource expected in Q1 and Q2 2018, respectively. In the meantime, we maintain a Speculative Buy rating on the stock.
Beaufort Securities acts as a corporate broker to Armadale Capital PLC
Ferrum Crescent (LON:FCR) 0.11p – Speculative Buy
FCR, the European lead-zinc explorer, announced that Colin Bird has been appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman with immediate effect. Mr Bird is a chartered mining engineer with extensive multi-commodity mine management experience in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Company also stated that it is on schedule to publish a maiden JORC (2012) compliant resource estimate for its Toral lead-zinc and associated metals project in Spain by the end of January 2018.
Our view: The above announcement is good news for FCR as it continues to strengthen its Board with a well-known mining engineer and entrepreneur while it focuses on the develop of the Toral lead-zinc (and associated metals) project. We look forward to the maiden JORC (2012) compliant resource estimate in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we maintain our Speculative Buy on the stock.
Beaufort Securities acts as a corporate broker to Ferrum Crescent plc
Prospex has announced that flow testing has commenced at its recently drilled onshore gas well in Italy (it has a 17% interest). The operator advises that flow test results will be available within 7 days. This morning’s RNS also notes that the Bainet gas discovery in Romania (50% owned by Prospex) is due to come online in 2Q17, while the most recent Spanish gas investment (830 bcf prospective) is being advanced as well.
Our view: There’s plenty of positive news flow coming out of Prospex. Operating has proven very straightforward in both Italy and Romania which keeps the company lean, effective and interesting. We look forward to the flow test results, potentially end of next week. We have a Speculative Buy recommendation.
Beaufort Securities acts as a corporate broker to Prospex Oil & Gas plc
ValiRx (LON:VAL) 4.82p – Speculative Buy
ValiRx yesterday announced that it has received a notice of allowance for the US patent application for VAL201. The patent covers the molecule and use of compounds in pharmaceutically acceptable products. ValiRx’s CEO, Dr Satu Vainikka, commented “This US allowance means we can proceed to strengthen the VAL201 patent portfolio and, once granted, will provide ValiRx with patent protection in all its largest commercial markets globally. ValiRx looks forward optimistically to its future prospects”.
Our view: A positive news from ValiRx, moving it step closer to patent grant in the US for VAL201. The patent has already been granted in the UK, Japan and Australia while Europe also pending a grant. There are also patent applications currently pending in many other territories. ValiRx recently received an approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Research Ethics Committee to substantially increase the dose of VAL201 (Phase I/II) in patients with locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer and other advanced solid tumours to observe its full therapeutic potential. VAL201 is expected to be advantageous over other therapies as it does not involve androgen hormone deprivation, therefore fewer side effects associated to it. No dose limiting toxicity or any serious adverse events has been observed to date. According to GlobalData, the market value for prostate cancer is growing and expected to reach US$8.2bn in 2023. We reiterates our Speculative Buy rating on the shares.
Beaufort Securities acts as corporate broker to ValiRx Plc