The FTSE-100 finished yesterday's session 0.64% lower at 7,247.66, whilst the FTSE AIM All-Share index was up 0.24% at 1,041.35. In continental Europe, the CAC-40 finished 0.48% lower at 5,256.18 whilst the DAX was down 0.53% at 12,385.60.
Last night in New York, markets were closed for the Presidents' Day public holiday.
In Asia this morning, the Nikkei 225 was 246.01 points lower at 21,903.2 towards the end of the session. The Hang Seng also found itself in negative territory when trading resumed, following the Lunar New Year break, with the index down 0.41% at 30,989.08.
At around 6:15am, WTI crude was 1.04% higher at $62.32 per barrel but Brent crude was down 0.34% at $65.45 per barrel.
William Hill fined £6.2m for lax controls
Betting firm William Hill (LON:WMH) has been hit with a £6.2m penalty package for breaching anti-money laundering and social responsibility regulations. The Gambling Commission said the company did not do enough to ensure prevention measures were effective. As a result 10 customers were able to deposit money linked to criminal offences and William Hill gained £1.2m. The company was found to have not done enough to determine the source of the money or if they were problem gamblers. In a statement, the Gambling Commission said William Hill's senior management "failed to mitigate risks and have sufficient numbers of staff to ensure their anti money laundering and social responsibility processes were effective". A Gambling Commission investigation covered the period between November 2014 and August 2016. William Hill will pay more than £5m for breaching the regulations and "divest themselves of the £1.2m they earned from transactions with the 10 customers", the Commission said. The company now has to appoint external auditors to review the effectiveness and implementation of its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies and procedures. Neil McArthur, executive director at the Gambling Commission, said: "This was a systemic failing at William Hill which went on for nearly two years and today's penalty package - which could exceed £6.2m - reflects the seriousness of the breaches." In a statement, William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock said: "William Hill has fully co-operated with the Commission throughout this process, introducing new and improved policies and increased levels of resourcing. "We have also committed to an independent process review and will work to implement any recommendations that emerge from that review. "We are fully committed to operating a sustainable business that properly identifies risk and better protects customers. "We will continue to assist the Commission and work with other operators to improve practices in the areas identified."
Source: BBC News
Xtract Resources (LON:XTR) 2.40p – Speculative Buy
Xtract announced yesterday that it has concluded an JV agreement with Omnia Mining for the exploitation of the Manica hard rock occurrences at Xtract’s Manica mining concession in Mozambique. The agreement excludes the advanced Fair Bride deposit (DFS results announced 28 February 2017), which remains under the sole control and management of Xtract. Omnia already has an agreement in place with Xtract for the adjacent Manica alluvial gold deposits and has an operational gold processing plant with a capacity of 400kt per annum that is capable of processing free gold. Xtract will carry out the initial investigation on potential targets including the Guy Fawkes, Dots Luck and Boa Esperanza occurrences that lie within the Manica hard rock concession. Further exploration costs will be shared equally between Xtract and Omnia. Should any of the occurrences meet the agreed 25% IRR target, benefits will be shared on a 50:50 basis.
Our view: The above JV is good news for Xtract as it now has access to a newly installed and fully functional gold processing plant while maintaining sole ownership of the advanced Fair Bride project. Whilst more detailed work is required, we note that there is considerable exploration upside within the Manica hard rock concession that includes the Guy Fawkes, Dot’s Luck and Boa Esperanza gold occurrences. We look forward to further updates as management proceeds with a desktop study and exploration phase to meet the targeted 25% IRR on the exploration targets. In the meantime, we maintain our Speculative Buy rating on the stock.
Beaufort Securities acts as corporate broker to Xtract Resources PLC
On Wednesday, 7th February 2018 Mike Read, Chairman & CEO of Falanx answered questions posed by private investors at the Beaufort offices.Click hereto see the interview.