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Proactive news summary: Sirius Minerals stands out on big day for funding

Also covered: Blur, Eckoh, Eurasia, FairFX, H&T, Rosslyn, KrisEnergy, Sierra Rutile, Tern, ValiRx, Xtract Resources

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News round-up

Well that was quick. Just a day after outlining plans to bring in up US$1.2bn of new funds, Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX) has revealed the process is ostensibly complete.

The conditional placing of shares with investors at 20p each will bring in US$457mln (£370mln), while a successful convertible bond issue adds an extra US$400mln to the total.

Elsewhere on the funding front, Sierra Rutile Limited (LON:SRX) has refinanced its debt facilities through a package that includes repayment of a €23.5mln loan to the Sierra Leone government.

All of the minerals sands group’s debts will now be consolidated into a US$50mln loan and US$15.9mln equipment finance facility from Nedbank.

Additional liquidity will be provided through a US$15mln revolving facility.

Singapore-listed oil group KrisEnergy (SGX:SK3) is to focus on the Gulf of Thailand in future as it battles the tough conditions facing oil companies at present.

Jeffrey MacDonald, interim chief executive, said it saw a slight improvement in the market in the third quarter compared to the first half of 2016, but the oil and gas environment remained challenging.

“We have cut capital expenditure to the bare minimum save for our commitments,” MacDonald said.

Xtract Resources PLC (LON:XTR) announced new funding arrangements to fund short and medium-term needs as it focuses solely on its Manica gold project in Mozambique.

It has struck a subscription deal and equity swap agreement with investor YA II EQ, Ltd (an affiliate of the former YA Global Master), which will see YA ultimately gain a 19.14% stake in Xtract.

The subscription sees the miner gain £980,000 in cash in exchange for 3.5bn shares.

FairFX Group Plc (LON:FFX), the low-cost multi-currency payments service, said its corporate card platform has performed particularly well in 2016, setting new records.

Last month a key milestone for the platform was passed with monthly loads exceeding £10mln million for the first time, having doubled within just six months.

The recovery in the price of gold since the EU referendum result has put some extra juice in the trading performance of H&T GROUP PLC (LON:HAT).

The pawnbroker said full year profit before tax for 2016 is expected to be above the top end of current market expectations.

The increased gold price benefits the group's Pawnbroking Scrap and Gold Purchasing segments, the company noted.

Enterprise services platform and marketplace Blur Group PLC (LON:BLUR) told investors its finances are under tight control as it gets ready to take the next step in its growth.

A tax credit of US$0.4mln meant net cash burn for the three months to the end of September stood at US$0.6mln – a fourth consecutive quarter of improved underlying cash burn.

Eckoh PLC (LON:ECK) has hired a high growth tech company expert as its new finance chief.

Chrissie Herbert, an accountant, has worked at Collect+, a fast-growing joint venture between PayPoint PLC and Yodel and Travelodge Hotels Ltd.

Cloud-based data analytics specialist Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC (LON:RDT) has bagged a US$407,000 contract with a Fortune 100 company.

The two-year contract, with a US-based global media company, is worth US$257,500 (£200,000) in the first year, Rosslyn revealed. The contract has an option to extend beyond the term as well as the capability of having additional professional services added to it during the contract life.

Internet of Things (IoT) investor Tern PLC (LON:TERN) has made a quick buck on the US$500,000 sale of its Concerto business, a multi cloud management software firm that it only acquired this summer.

US-based technology distributor Ingram Micro Inc. will pay Tern US$425,000 on completion of the deal, with a further US$75,000 to follow a year later.

Cancer-focused biotech ValiRx Plc (LON:VAL) has reported encouraging early findings from its Phase II clinical trial of VAL 401 - its lung cancer candidate.

Members of the ValiSeek joint venture, formed to progress the drug, made a site visit to the clinic in Tbilisi, Georgia, and found that the first patient has been dosed and is tolerating the treatment well.

Russia-based Eurasia Mining plc (LON:EUA) intends to contract out the running of its new platinum mine at Monchetundra, with its income to be generated from royalty payments.

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