Westminster Group top London riser on Middle East opportunity update

Proactive takes a look at what's moving on a half day of London trading

Westminster Group was top London riser on the day

Top riser in London was security and  services firm Westminster Group (LON:WSG) which shot up over 62% to 15.25p.

It came after a positive progress report on a contract being negotiated with a prospective Middle East client. 

Back in September the AIM-quoted company said it had made “significant progress” with the opportunity after successful talks with the client and other administrative bodies.

Since then further “extensive” discussions have taken place to talk over the project in more detail, including the order of the roll-out and the customer’s growing requirements.

Westminster conceded that these talks had taken longer than it had expected but it seems to have been worth it.

Chairman Sir Tony Baldry and chief executive Peter Fowler have recently returned from the country concerned, with all but a few “minor commercial and contractual issues” having now been agreed.

On the losing front, Legendary Investments plc (LON:LEG)  shed over 20% to 0.135p as  it agreed to acquire a 2% interest valued at £100,000 in Circle Oil Tunisia Ltd (COTL).

The latter owns the El Mediouni East and Central Oil asset in the Mahdia permit in Tunisia.

The interest is in exchange for Legendary's interests in Manas Resources, the holder of a licence for the exploration of gold in Sultan Sary, Kyrgyzstan.

"We are pleased to have parlayed our interest in Manas into an interest in ELM.

"We expect that the ELM is more likely to come to fruition and in in a shorter timescale and possibly at a greater value than Manas," said Zafar Karim, the executive chairman of Legendary.


9.30am: Action Hotels has a spring in its step..

On a truncated trading day in London, there was some movers in early deals.

One notable riser was hospitality group Action Hotels (LON:AHCG), which gained almost 11% to  25p.

It came as the group said it had received a US$1.2mln rent waiver from the owner of the ibis Salmiya Hotel in Kuwait for the last six months of 2017.

The hotel is owned by Action Real Estate Co., a subsidiary of the group’s major shareholder, Kuwait-based Action Group Holding Company.

The waiver agreed with Action Real Estate, in which Action Hotels chairman Sheikh Mubarak is a director and major shareholder of, is being treated as a one-off item and will deliver cost savings of US$1.2mln in the year to 31 December.

Another riser was N4 Pharma Plc (LON:N4P), which added 7.59% at 10.63p  as it told investors it had filed a patent application for an oral  reformulation of the drug Aprepitant - marketed by the major Merck & Co as Emend - which is used to suppress sickness resulting from surgery and chemotherapy.

The drug had global sales of over US$500 mln last year, and the patent for the oral products expired in 2015.

Proactive news headlines:

Shares in Motif Bio Plc (LON:MTFB) zipped higher after the biopharma pencilled in more detail of the REVIVE-1 phase III clinical trial of iclaprim in patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI). Positive top-line results from the study were announced back in April which showed iclaprim scored well against one of the current leading treatments, vancomycin.

Shares in Tavistock Investments PLC (LON:TAVI) were up strongly early on after the wealth management firm said it was proposing an administrative rejig that would allow it to pay a dividend at some point in the future. The company currently has negative distributable reserves, which is a legacy from the firm’s previous business, Social Go. The plan is to seek approval to use £23mln from the share premium account to wipe out the deficit.

Valtrex PLC (AIM:VAL) has raised £1mln, which it will be used to “advance” the clinical trial of VAL201 for prostate cancer and fund certain pre-clinical programmes. The biotechnology company issued just over 23.5mln new shares at 4.25p each. They come with 11.8mln warrants to further invest in the business at 8p a share (Thursday’s closing price was 6.25p).

Savannah Petroleum PLC (LON:SAVP) has completed a $125mln fundraise to help fund its proposed acquisition in Nigeria, drilling campaign in Niger and for general corporate purposes. The company has placed 266,462,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 35p per share in two tranches.

Action Hotels PLC (LON:AHCG) said it has received a US$1.2mln rent waiver from the owner of the ibis Saliva Hotel in Kuwait for the last six months of 2017. The hotel is owned by Action Real Estate Co., a subsidiary of the group’s major shareholder, Kuwait-based Action Group Holding Company.

Eland Oil & Gas PLC (LON: ELA) has announced the syndication of its Reserve Based Lending facility and a significant increase in its drawable capacity to strengthen the firm’s financial position for its work programme.

Aircraft leasing group Aviation PLC (LON:AVAP) has completed delivery of an Airbus A320-200 to easy Jet PLC (LON:EZJ).

North Africa junior oiler SDX Energy Inc. (LON:SDX; CVE:SDX) has begun well operations on the ELQ-1 well at  the Garb Centre permit in Morocco. ELQ-1 is the fourth well in SDX’s nine well campaign and the first of two commitment wells planned at Gharb, which was acquired over summer from Circle Oil.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) said its latest half year charted a period of highs and lows as it continues to advance its mining operations in Zimbabwe and Romania. There was a 45%  decrease in overheads to US$2.5mln, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was up 30%. The loss before tax increased to US$12.6mln, though, compared to a profit of US$0.3mln in 2016, due to a US$12.5mln exceptional charge.

US Oil & Gas PLC (LON:USOP) updated on its drill plans in Nevada, saying that applications to sink three wells in Hot Creek Valley were in train The required bonds have been lodged for two wells, it revealed, and once permits are received, drilling will start as soon as availability of service and equipment allows.

Greka Drilling Ltd (LON:GDL) updated on contracts in India and China, where in the latter country,  it has been awarded two deals estimated to be worth around US$2.1mln. PetroChina Huabei Oilfield Limited, or PetroChina, which is a subsidiary of CNPC, has awarded Greka the work for its ANZE block. Each of the new contracts is for 18 months, with a scope of 10 directional wells, to be drilled on multi-well pads, the firm said.

Base Resources Limited (ASX:LON) (LON:BSE) said that Bank of America Corporation has notified the company that it and its related bodies corporate have ceased to be a significant shareholder of  the company following the net sale, or return pursuant to prime brokerage agreements, of 18,823,438 Base Resources fully paid ordinary shares.

Akers Biosciences Inc (LON:AKR) has raised gross proceeds of US$6.9mln via a public share offering, around US$1mln higher than previously announced. The group said the funds raised will be used by the health-care screening company for working capital, product development, marketing activities, expanding sales organization and developing sales channels.

Mporium Group PLC (LON:MPM), the technology firm delivering event-driven marketing, said it raised approximately £3.2mln through the successful subscription of 53,333,333 new ordinary shares of 0.5p at an issue price of 6p each, announced on December 20. It added that the net proceeds of the fundraising will be used to provide working capital and to support the continued momentum of the business.

Gfinity Plc (LON:GFIN), a leading international esports entertainment group, has announced the appointment with immediate effect of Shore Capital as joint corporate broker to the company.

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