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Aquis Exchange unit inks three-year trading technology supply deal with crypto and security token exchange Archax

A look at some of the London market's biggest risers and fallers on Thursday
Bitcoins
Aquis will receive an upfront implementation fee and a recurring licence fee when the exchange launches

Aquis Exchange PLC (LON:AQX) was a mid-afternoon gainer, adding 5.3% at 450p after it said its financial arm Aquis Technologies has signed a three-year trading technology supply deal with crypto and security token exchange, Archax.

Under the deal, the AIM-listed firm will receive an upfront implementation fee and a recurring licence fee when the exchange launches, while Archax will initially have exclusive use of the company's technology.

The group said the deal will be effective from the first half of 2019, when Archax exchange is due to launch.

Meanwhile, Mpac Group PLC shares jumped 13.5% higher to 135p after the packaging firm reported 11% growth in first-half revenues although its losses widened hurt by delays in two legacy contracts.

The AIM-listed firm said it experienced significant order intake headwinds in the first half of 2018 with order intake 20% below the level seen in the year earlier.

Mpac said it has reviewed the current order book to confirm that projects remained on track within contractual terms.

And Challenger Acquisitions Limited (LON:CHAL) took on 6.6% after it revealed that the developers of the New York Wheel project have applied for an extension of a settlement agreement to get the project back on track.

The entertainment and leisure investment company said parties involved in the settlement had agreed to extend the September 5 deadline to September 11 in order to negotiate an amendment to the settlement agreement, including an extension of the standstill period.

12.40pm: Tanfield plans to cut investment value of Snorkel

Tanfield Group PLC (LON:TAN) saw its shares drop in early afternoon trading, losing 9.1% to 10.00p after the firm said it plans to reduce the value of its investment in aerial work platforms business Snorkel International to £19.1mln from £36.3mln.

The AIM-listed group said it would reduce the impairment value of its Snorkel holding if there is no material change in the unit’s second-quarter results.

In mid-June, Tanfield said Snorkel was unlikely to meet its earnings target needed for the UK firm to achieve a realisation value for its 49% stake.

Elsewhere, Weir Group PLC (LON:WEIR) dropped 5.9% to 1,681.50p after the FTSE 250-listed pumps manufacturer flagged a recent ‘softening’ in demand.

In a statement released as it conducted its “usual investor roadshow” today in London, Weir said: “Given updates from oil and gas industry peers in recent days the company expects to discuss current North American oil and gas market conditions.”

And Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) lost 9.6% at 29.54p after the Yorkshire fertiliser mine developer revised its capital requirement estimates for the project by US$400mln to US$600mln, taking the total requirement (including contingency) to US$4.16bn.

The increase came as the FTSE 250-listed firm told investors that it has now signed two major construction contracts for the Woodsmith mine’s development programme.

10.30am: Updates provide spur for Melrose, Go-Ahead, Bovis, Dixons

Corporate updates provided a boost for a number of stocks in mid-morning trading, with GKN bid battle winner Melrose Industries PLC (LON:MRO), the strongest FTSE 100 performer, up 3.4% at 230.30p after first-half results.

Investors were positive after the turnaround specialist said it had found "no black holes" in GKN and the business was seeing significant progress since the £8bn hostile takeover was completed in April.

In its results for the first six months of the year, the turnaround specialist said it has reduced central functions and agreed strategic plans to improve GKN’s businesses, which include aerospace, automotive and power metallurgy divisions.

Also up after results, FTSE 250-listed Go-Ahead Group PLC (LON:GOG) jumped 13.6% higher to 1,858p after the transport operator saw profits rise last year despite a calamitous timetable overhaul which led to hundreds of its trains being cancelled or severely delayed.

The group, which also runs the Southern and Great Northern franchises, reported a 6.5% jump in pre-tax profits to £145.7mln (2017: £136.8mln) for the year to the end of June. That was despite revenue falling slightly to £3.46bn, from £3.48bn a year earlier.

Elsewhere, Bovis Homes PLC (LON:BVS) rose 4.73 to 1,180.5p after the housebuilder posted a 41% jump in first-half pre-tax profit as completions rose and the mid-cap group said it was targeting a record year of profits, at the top end of its expectations.

And electricals retailer Dixons Carphone PLC (LON:DC.) gained 1.5% to 166.60p as it maintained its full-year guidance despite reporting a 2% drop in revenue for the first quarter and a flat like-for-like performance.

9.25am: Brave Bison leaps distribution partnership with China's Tencent

Brave Bison Group PLC (LON:BBSN) was the market’s top gainer in early morning trading, leaping 63% higher to 2.45p after the social video company agreed a distribution partnership with Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings Limited, one of the world's largest internet companies.

The AIM-listed firm said under the partnership – which will give Brave Bison access to over 1.5bn Chinese viewers – it will be supplying Tencent with licensed video content from Western-based creators suitable for the Chinese audience.

Tencent owns WeChat, China's leading messaging, payments and social media app which has one billion monthly active users.

Also on the rise, Maistro PLC (LON:MAIS) saw its shares jump 12% higher to 5.05p as the eProcurement specialist said it expects its first-half 2018 revenue to exceed full-year 2017 levels.

In a brief business update, the AIM-listed firm added that the strong revenue performance contribute to “increasing management confidence that this trend will accelerate into 2019 and beyond.”

And Corero Network Security PLC (LON:CNS) gained 10.6% at 9.125p as it said in a trading update that its full-year results are expected to be in line with expectations.

The cybersecurity group said it had made a solid start to 2018, with revenue for the first six months of the year expected to be in the region of US$5.0mln.

Other Proactive news headlines:

Pan African Resources PLC (LON:PAF) has more than doubled the mineral resource estimate at its Royal Sheba gold project in South Africa after results from the latest round of drilling “exceeded expectations”.

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) has revealed what it described as “outstanding” drill results from the Mina do Barroso lithium project. The explorer is carrying out both reverse circulation and diamond drilling at the Grandao area of the project where it has unearthed higher-grade lithium mineralisation over significant widths. Highlight results from Grandao included grades between 1.14% and 1.46%.

Real Good Food PLC (LON:RGD) has sold its Haydens Bakery business to Icelandic food giant Bakkavor Group PLC (LON:BAKK) for £12mln.

Challenger Acquisitions Limited (LON:CHAL) said the developers of the New York Wheel project have applied for an extension of a settlement agreement to get the project back on track.

ValiRx PLC (LON:VAL) said “commercial activity” around its lead cancer drug candidate has continued as it updated on both VAL401 and next in the queue, VAL201. Chief executive, Dr Satu Vainikka, said she looked forward to the “successful crystallisation of substantial value for patients and shareholders".

Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) told investors it has been awarded a production concession for the Tendrara gas discovery, bringing the field development project closer to a final investment decision. The AIM-quoted explorer said it expects to make a decision once additional key development milestones have been secured – namely, the securing of a gas sales agreement, funding and regulatory formalities.

Commercial aircraft leasing group Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) bumped up the dividend by more than a fifth after a solid year in which it diversified its revenue base.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) has significantly increased its cryptocurrency mining capacity through the introduction of new server technology. Use of the upgraded ASIC servers will enable Argo to support 3,000 new subscribers or seven times more than its existing installed capability.

Dale Solomon, who has been chief operating officer of Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG) since 2014, is to quit the group in mid-November as his family is relocating overseas.

CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) has acquired the business assets of GlobeHosting Inc, a Romania and Brazil-focused registrar and domain-hosting provider based in Delaware.

Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG), the international biomass-based renewable energy and forestry management business, said it has received notification that on 4 September 2018, Gravendonck Private Foundation disposed of 20,000,000 ordinary shares in the group at a price of 2.4p per share. Following this disposal, the group said, Gravendonck remains Active Energy's largest shareholder and holds 221,898,809 ordinary shares, representing 21.48% of the group's issued share capital with voting rights.


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