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Most followed: Lloyds Banking, Uber, Sports Direct, Leni Gas & Oil, Hurricane Energy...

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News that Lloyds banking (LON:LLOY) had taken a very conservative view in pricing the upcoming float of TSB dominated the social network chatter this morning.

The price range of 220p to 290p is 3-25% below TSB’s book value while the sale of just 25% might suggest Lloyds is none too confident of a hit.

Early suggestions that 30% would be sold proved wide of the mark, while the value of less than £1bn at the bottom of the range is also well below earlier expectations.

The pricing reflects a cooling of the UK market suggested commentators, but US investors still seem to have the appetite to pay top dollar for the next big thing.

A US$1.2bn private fund raising from online taxi service Uber valued the group at US$17bn and set a new record for a technology company. The money will fund an expansion drive that has seen it set up in over 120 cities in 37 countries. 

Uber has sparked fierce controversy for its virtual car service. In London, a protest by black cab drivers against its presence in the capital is planned for 11 June and follows similar protests in other European countries.

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is reliably newsworthy and his Sports Direct (LON:SPD) business’s latest attempt to get shareholder approval for a share bonus scheme was also trending well.

Two previous attempts to introduce a long-term incentive plan were aborted after negative feedback from shareholders.

The bonus plan scheme rejected last time out would have seen Ashley awarded £70mln in shares, though he has since reduced his holding in Sports Direct. Ashley does not take a salary and has not done so since the company floated in February 2007.

Elsewhere it was another busy day in the small cap oil exploration sector.

Leni Gas & Oil (LON:LGO)  is never far for the top of the popularity charts at the moment following the flow of good news coming from its drilling programme in Trinidad.

It second well at Goudron had intersected 687 feet of gross oil bearing sands in its primary target, the Gros Morne formation, it said today.

Such is the success, adding to the earlier find in a shallower secondary target, the company  has decided to call an early end to the drilling of this well. 

This will avoid unnecessary operational risks and bring forward the start of production, Leni said. Shares jumped 25% and have risen more than five-fold this year.

Mosman Oil & Gas (LON:MSMN) was another riser on drilling news  as its programme onshore in New Zealand, encountered a number of oil shows in the first of three planned wells at the Petroleum Creek project on the South Island.

Hurricane Energy (LON:HUR) was also pleased with drilling at the Lancaster Well in the west of Shetland.

Hurricane is a different scale to many junior explorers, Broker Cenkos said the its current value fails to reflect that its resource base is materially larger than many of the other independent E&P companies in the UK.

Bulletin board favourite Oilex, meanwhile, is preparing for the start of a fracture stimulation programme on the pivotal Cambay-77H well,in India.

Broker RFC Ambrian said the main catalyst for the stock over the next couple of months will be the result of a flow test at Cambay-77H.

“Once stimulated we think that the well will take 6-10 weeks to clean up before a proper flow test can be performed. The next important announcement will be the completion of the plug mill-out operations.”

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