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GCM Resources shares rise as it signs joint development deal for Phulbari Project in Bangladesh

A look at some of the biggest risers and fallers in London on Friday

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The agreement outlines the parties’ roles and responsibilities in pursuing approval of the Phulbari project

GCM Resources (LON:GCM)  shares jumped 23% higher to 28p  in late afternoon trading after the exploration group signed a joint  development agreement with its strategic partner China Gezhouba Group International Engineering for the Phulbari Coal and Power Project in Bangladesh.

The AIM-listed firm said the agreement outlines the parties’ roles and responsibilities in pursuing approval of the Phulbari project, including a commitment by Gezhouba to invest up to 30% in the power plant.

Meanwhile, Focusrite plc (LON:TUNE) shares rose 8.7% to 386p  as the music and audio products group said its profits, revenue and cash all grew in the first half of the current financial year compared with the first half of the prior year.

In a trading update, the AIM-listed firm said its growth has been across a wide range of product groups and regions and, as a result, its revenue for the half year ending 28 February 2018 is expected to be over £38mln, up from £32mln in the same period last year.

And Biffa PLC (LON:BIFF) shares rallied 0.5% higher to 211p as US investment bank Citigroup hiked its target price for the waste management firm to 230p from 220p following the stock’s sharp falls on Thursday after a glum trading update.

The FTSE 250-listed firm warned that cost and price headwinds in the second half of 2018 financial year will hurt performance of the Resource Recovery & Treatment division, although overall group trading in the second half is expected to be in line with management expectation.

12:30am: Renold under the cosh as engineering group issues further profit warning

Renold plc(LON:RNO) was a big faller in lunchtime trading, dropping 24.8% to 33.5p with the engineering group under the cosh again as it issued a further profit warning for the year to this March.

Higher raw materials prices have squeezed margins with operating profits now set to come in below both the previous two years, the FTSE SmallCap-listed industrial chain supplier said.

The chain division, in particular, is suffering, Renold added, while Torque Transmission was performing in-line with expectations.

On the FTSE 250 index, Renewi PLC (LON:RWI) shares fell 5% to 84.80p after the waste-to-product business revealed it will take a £73mln hit for impairments and provisions following a review of contracts in its UK Municipal division.

The FTSE 250-listed company had said on 12 February that it was undertaking an annual review of onerous contracts in the Municipal division and that it was expecting increased exceptional charges to manage the portfolio.

The company said, however, that there will be no material impact from provisions on the company’s cash flow, and the outlook for the year ending 31 March 2018 remains unchanged.

And Inmarsat Plc (LON:ISAT) shed 6.2% to 435.2p as the satellite company cut back its full year dividends due to uncertainty over future payments from Ligado Networks and its plans to invest in the aviation market.

The company’s total dividends for 2017 were reduced to 33.62 US cents, down from the 53.96 US cents paid the previous year.

10am: RM2 shares soar as it unveils boost to financial position, new client relationships

RM2 International (LON:RN2) was the biggest gainer in early morning trading, with its shares leaping 127%  higher to 2.50p as the pallet provider unveiled a boost to its financial position after a disposal and said it is in advanced stages of financing discussions with the support of its existing shareholders.  

The AIM-listed firm said it received net proceeds of approximately US$2mln from the sale of a non-core office building in Switzerland and is therefore able to extend its cash resources to continue operating through mid-April. 

The company also said it continues to proactively transition its business to focus on IoT (internet of things) technology in pallet applications, servicing its existing customers and developing new relationships with certain Fortune 500 companies, which are in final trial phases.

Meanwhile, Eurasia Mining plc (LON:EUA) shares rose 4.5% to 0.47p as the gold producer announced the commencement of site works for the 2018 field season at its West Kytlim Project in the Ural Mountains.

The AIM-listed firm said terms have now been finalised with OOO Techstroy of Nizhny Tagil, an alluvial mining contractor, and machinery and equipment have been mobilised to the site with stripping works to start immediately.

And Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) shares added 1.4% to 5.05p as the technology company confirmed that it is in negotiations to deliver its FOVIO Driver Monitoring Systems to an additional new automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

In a statement noting recent press rumour and speculation, the AIM-listed firm said, if secured, this program design win would be a significant win for Seeing Machines – which would be working with one or more Tier 1 automotive suppliers for a new third OEM.

Other Proactive news headlines:

Oracle Power PLC’s (LON:ORCP) Chinese partners have ratified a memorandum of understanding to proceed with the development of the Thar power station project in Pakistan. The MoU was originally signed in November between Oracle and SCIG and PowerChina, its two co-developers. The next step will be the completion of due diligence early in the next quarter.

Tanzania-focused miner Katoro Gold PLC (|LON:KAT) is doing additional work on the pre-feasibility study at its Imweru gold project to include recent changes to the mining laws in the country. All of the technical aspects of the PFS are now finished, said Katoro, but the economic feasibility of Imweru is being re-modelled to assess the potential impact of the new legislation and mining regulations.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has given Mercuria Energy Group another two weeks to finalise its pre-payment offtake. Discussions are also underway with Sub-Sahara Goldia Investments (SSGI) over a similar extension to the repayment date of a US$1.68mln bridging loan due for repayment today.

Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) has confirmed the completion of its deal to acquire an additional stake in the Horse Hill project, onshore UK. All conditions to the transactions have been fulfilled, and it will now pay £650,000 and issue consideration shares to the seller Primorus Investments PLC.

SDX Energy Inc (LON:SDX) has confirmed a new gas discovery in SAH-2, its latest well at the Sebou project onshore Morocco. SAH-2 was drilled down to 1,304 metres and has encountered some 5.2 metres of net conventional gas pay, across two zones (Guebbas and Hoot).

Multi-commodity explorer IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR), outlined a busy spell in Africa and Australia, as it posted its latest half year results. The group has been encouraged by the results generated from the recent aeromagnetics survey on its extensive gold portfolio in Chad, the firm said in the statement covering the six months to end December.

Connemara Mining PLC (LON:CON) says it's pleased that joint venture partner Group Eleven Resources Corp (CVE:ZNG) is to re-start drilling at the Stonepark Zinc project, Limerick, Ireland in the next few weeks -  a key asset.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (AQSE:COIN) said it has completed a share buyback using a combination of both its own cash reserves and cryptocurrency. The NEX-listed blockchain tech company purchased 2mln of its own shares using the mixture of cash and digital currency assets for a price of 9p per share.

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