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Urban Exposure feels the chill

A look at the day's shakers and fakers, including Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Empyrean Energy, Bushveld Minerals, Mobile Streams, Mosman Oil & Gas, S4 Capital and Miriad Advertising
Urban Exposure is working on a number of new loans with aggregate potential commitments worth more than £300mln, which it expects to close by year-end.

As company names go, Urban Exposure PLC (LON:UEX) is slightly nebulous.

I had assumed it was some kind of marketing company but apparently it is a housing development finance firm.

It listed on AIM in May, since when it has squeezed in three trading updates, the latest of which gained it the sort of exposure it could probably do without.

The shares, listed at 100p, fell 9p to 91p today after the company said it expects “significantly reduced income in the short term”.

Since the initial public offering, the group said it has experienced strong demand from developers for finance but the company said it intends to assign its loan book off-balance sheet into the asset management business, which will have a negative impact on short-term earnings.

READ Urban Exposure shares dip as it expects 'significantly lower' income

“The company believes that the benefit of doing this will lead to greater earnings potential via a larger asset management business and will also free up capital to redeploy in further loans for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019," it said.

Drugs makers Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HIK) gave up some of yesterday’s gains that were won after it announced another collaboration with Vectura Group PLC (LON:VEC).

Hikma tumbled 160p to 1,865p – although, admittedly, the shares have more than doubled since March so long-standing shareholders might not be too disappointed.

1.40pm: Empyrean and Bushveld set the pace

Empyrean Energy PLC (LON:EME) shot up 8.7% after it said its Pearl River Mouth Basin asset has been estimated to contain 884mln barrels of oil potential.

The new estimate covers the Jade, Topaz and Pearl prospects, and, it represents a 9% upgrade from a prior estimate of 814mln barrels.

The independent consultants also estimated a geological chance of success of Jade and Topaz prospects, at 32% and 30% respectively.

Elsewhere in the resource sector, Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) continued its seemingly inexorable rise, adding 6.3% at 41.25p on the back of an operational update covering the third quarter.

The company is to push ahead with the expansion of its Vametco vanadium plant to take advantage of soaring demand for the steel additive.

Vanadium prices jumped 24% over the quarter to September to US$85.8/KgV (R1,222) and have risen by 137% over the past 12 months. Over the last 12 months, the share price of Bushveld has quadrupled to 41.25p.

10.40am: Mosman marked down after discounted placing; Mobile Streams' trading update disappoints

Mosman Oil And Gas Limited (LON:MSMN) intends to continue the rapid development of its US projects, as it proposes drilling up to five new wells.

Following on from the successful Stanley-1 well, it is now planned that three additional wells will be drilled at the Stanley project, meanwhile, one well will each be drilled at the Champion and Challenger projects.

The company noted that the Stanley-2 well is already funded, as are the other Stanley wells, but the company took the opportunity to raise £500,000, placing shares at 0.275p.

Not surprisingly, market makers chipped away at the Mosman share price, which closed at 0.4p last night; the shares currently trade at 0.29p.

Final results from Mobile Streams PLC (LON:MOS) wiped almost a quarter of the value of the company shares. Mobile Streams provides media content to mobile devices.

The group made a loss before tax of £900,000 in the year to June 30, compared to a loss of £1.7bn last year, as the company invested in its expansion in India as part of a strategy to reduce its reliance on Argentina.

Revenues fell to £3.0mln from £5.7mln last year, reflecting tough macroeconomic conditions and regulation for mobile content subscriptions in Argentina, a competitive India market and foreign exchange headwinds.

9.15am: S4 Capital confirms media speculation; Miriad rises after bagging French TV contract

S4 Capital PLC (LON:SFOR), the company marshalled by ousted WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell, has confirmed it is in talks about a possible acquisition.

Given Sorrell’s track record at WPP, it would be more of a surprise were S4 not in talks about a possible acquisition but be that as it may, the company has responded to media speculation by confirming it is talking to the owners of several digital marketing services businesses.

READ: Sorrell wins €300mln bidding war with ex-employer WPP for MediaMonks

“The possible transaction, if consummated, would be in line with the company's stated strategy of creating a new era, new media solution embracing data, content and technology in an always-on environment for global, multi-national, regional and local clients and for millennial-driven digital brands,” the statement said.

There was no mention there of cheesing off WPP as well, but some of us take that as read.

The shares were up 5p at 122.5p.

Sector peer Miriad Advertising PLC (LON:MIRI) was up 1.5p at 21p after it won a contract with TF1 Group, the largest commercial broadcaster in France, and the most viewed television channel in Europe.

What, more widely viewed than Dave?

It is a two-year contract and that is about all we know, as the stock market announcement was brief.

MaxCyte Inc’s (LON:MXCT) Flow Electroporation technology will be used by CRISPR Therapeutics as part of its quest to develop new gene therapies for the treatment of cancer after the pair signed a commercial license agreement.

Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) said it remains on track with the development of a production line for its Silicon Carbide (SiC) cutting tools as it continued funding discussions.

There are significant concerns about the ongoing viability of MySQUAR PLC (LON:MYSQ), the Myanmar-focused social media group, though a bail-out deal is also being mooted. In an update, investors also learned that preliminary probe has discovered that £900,000 of the firm’s funds had found their way into the hands of unnamed former directors and third parties without sign-off from the remuneration committee. The company is considering its options for recovering the money.

Bushveld Minerals PLC (LON:BMN) is to push ahead with the expansion of its Vametco vanadium plant to take advantage of soaring demand for the steel additive.

Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) said the results of a pharmacokinetic study of lead product MED2005 may help support a “simplified” US regulatory pathway for the erectile dysfunction treatment.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) told investors that it has entered into talks with a second large oil service provider, with activities in West Coast Africa.

Mosman Oil And Gas Limited (LON:MSMN) told investors that it intends to continue the rapid development of its US projects, as it proposes drilling up to five new wells.

Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) has reached an agreement to amend the terms of the existing loan agreement entered with a company owned by a trust of which chief executive George Roach is a beneficiary for a gross value of US$300,000.

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