ASOS hit by stock-shortage fears

A look at some of the day's major movers in the market on Thursday

Tlou Energy Limited -

ASOS PLC (LON:ASC) shares were down 1.9% at 3,292p on fears that the online fashion flogger's supply chain would be disrupted by the COVID-19 virus.

B&M European Value Retail SA (LON:BME), down 2% at 374.2p, was another that was hit by stock shortage fears.

“There could be shortages that start to appear on shelves in the next six weeks,” according to Shore Capital's Greg Lawless.

1.45pm: Staffline laid off as chief executive quits

Staffline Group PLC (LON:STAF) slipped 5.4% to 44p as chief executive Chris Pullen announced his departure after two years in the role.

Staffline said it remains “in constructive dialogue” with its lending banks while net debt at 31 December was estimated at £60mln, 5% lower than in 2018.

“The board expects to reach agreement with respect to revised terms that will remove the risk of covenant issues and ensure that the company retains sufficient liquidity headroom,” the company added.

12.45pm: Dev Clever warns on profits as UK roll-out is delayed

A profit warning from Dev Clever Holdings PLC (LON:DEV) wiped 13% off the software house's share price at 3.3p.

The company has entered into commercial negotiations to partner with a worldwide technology manufacturer to enable its career guidance products, Launchyourcareer.com and VICTAR VR, to be mass adopted.

As a result, the planned UK roll-out of these platforms has been pushed back, which means the company's financial performance in the second half of last year was below expectations.

11.40am: Great Western heads south

Great Western Mining PLC (LON:GWMO) shares fell out of bed, slumping by a third after the company placed shares at 0.11p.

The company raised £320,000 through the issue of 290.9mln shares.

Funds from the placing will be used to accelerate exploitation of gold prospects already sampled over the Mineral Jackpot group of mines, including bulk-sampling and heap leaching of numerous spoil heaps at Mineral Jackpot and in the Huntoon Valley for early recovery of gold and silver.

10.25am: Tracsis on track after good first-half

Tracsis PLC (LON:TRCS), which provides software to the transport sector, was heading in the right direction – up 5.4% - after an upbeat trading update.

Trading in the six months to the end of January was in line with expectations and ahead of the same period 12 months earlier.

Profits were also up year-on-year.

9.45am: Georgia (and Uzbekistan) on its mind 

Results from Georgian banking group TBC Bank Group PLC (LON:TBCG) hit the spot, with the shares rising 5.3% to 1,380p.

Profit before tax in the fourth quarter of 2019 rose 22.9% to GEL 177,337 from GEL 144,332 the year before. Full-year profit was up 14.8% at GEL 585,525 from GEL 510,200 the previous year.

“In 2019, we recorded strong financial results and made significant progress against our strategic priorities, including the development of customer focused ecosystems and international expansion in Uzbekistan. This lays a solid foundation for further development of these initiatives,” said Vakhtang Butskhrikidze, the chief executive officer of TBC.

8.40am: Tlou Energy on a surge after good news from Botswana

Tlou Energy Limited (LON:TLOU) saw its shares jump 17.2% higher to 3.75p in early trade on Thursday after the AIM-listed firm revealed it has received written confirmation from Botswana’s Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security of its support for the ongoing tender process for a power purchase agreement.

In a brief statement, the company - which is focused on generating power in Botswana for supply into the local and regional power market - said that it looks forward to working with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and the Ministry to finalise the power purchase agreement in due course.

Meanwhile, full-year results from price comparison web sites operator Moneysupermarket.com Group PLC (LON:MONY) sent the shares 6.8% higher to 330.9p.

The FTSE 250-listed firm reported that adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) in 2019 rose 9% to £141.5mln, up from £129.4mln the year before, while profit before tax rose to £116.0mln from £106.9mln.

Proactive news headlines:

Tlou Energy Limited (LON:TLOU) saw its shares jump after the AIM-listed firm revealed it has received written confirmation from Botswana’s Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security of its support for the ongoing tender process for a power purchase agreement.  In a brief statement, the company - which is focused on generating power in Botswana for supply into the local and regional power market - said that it looks forward to working with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and the Ministry to finalise the power purchase agreement in due course.

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) has entered into a £8mln convertible loan facility, with the first £2.43mln draw down available immediately. The facility is with what the company described as “a substantial Bahamian based institutional family-office investor”.

Inspiration Healthcare Group PLC (LON:IHC) said it performed ahead of expectations in the year just ended. The medical technology group said it expects to report a 15% year-on-year increase in revenue for the year to 31 January 2020 to around £17.8mln.

Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) has signed a new content and marketing agreement with a major international airline. The media and tech firm said, through its Gay Star News (GSN) website, it will create and distribute bespoke content to support the client’s social media engagement campaign. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Immotion Group PLC (LON:IMMO) said it has inked contracts for over 430 of its virtual reality (VR) headsets after signing deals for 68 of the devices over the past week. The ‘out of home’ VR entertainment specialist said the 68 new headsets included eight for its first outdoor enclosure at the Roger Williams Zoo in Rhode Island, USA, taking the total number of contracted headsets to 432.

Sativa Group PLC (LON:SATI) said its subsidiary, Goodbody Botanicals, has secured a CBD product listing agreement with WH Smith Group PLC's  (LON:SMWH) Travel business. Products will be stocked in around 100 of the retailer’s highest footfall outlets in airports, train and service stations.

Advanced Oncotherapy PLC (LON:AVO) has unveiled a collaboration that will bring specialist proton beam therapy to the West Midlands. The company is to install its LIGHT system in a facility on the campus of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB).

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH), the rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company, has announced the appointment of Professor John Oxford as chair of a newly established Advisory Board which will initially focus on guiding the company on the provision of solutions to the current coronavirus outbreak. Professor Oxford is a professor at Queen Mary's University London and one of the world's leading experts on global diseases such as influenza, including bird flu, SARS, MERS and Coronavirus.

Brunner Investment Trust (LON:BUT) posted a 13.2% rise in its net asset value (NAV) in 2019 to 945.8p as global stock market volatility helped its strategy of selective stock picking. The trust increased the dividend for the year by 10.1% to 19.98p, which was fully covered by earnings of 21.7p, while its performance beat its benchmark, which returned 12.6% on a similar total return basis.

Greencoat UK Wind PLC (LON:WIND) has agreed to acquire the Slieve Divena II wind farm from SSE Renewables for £51mln. Slieve Divena II is located about 10 miles south-east of Omagh in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, right next door to Greencoat's Slieve Divena wind farm. It has a capacity of 18.8 megawatts (MW). It has been operational since June 2017.

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) (CVE:FO) has told investors that drilling operations have been successfully completed for the Kyalla 117 N2-1H ST2 horizontal well at the Beetaloo shale project in Australia. The well was drilled to a total of 3,809 metres, including a 1,579 lateral in the Lower Kyalla formation.

Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) is now waiting on a date for its plans to restart testing the West Newton A-2 well, after a redesigned test programme was completed and sent to the UK regulator. The British onshore explorer noted that the redesigned test now needs approval from regulators and project operator Rathlin Energy is working towards a greenlight.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) (TSE:TXP) has raised US$11.6mln (£9mln) through a share placing to institutional investors, with the new funds earmarked for the acceleration of exciting exploration activities in the Ortoire block. The Trinidad-focused oil junior has enjoyed breakthrough success with its exploration campaign at Ortoire to date, most recently with the Cascadura-1ST1 well confirmed as a significant liquids-rich natural gas discovery. Touchstone is issuing 22.5mln new shares priced at 40p each to institutional investors.

Shanta Gold PLC (LON:SHG), the East Africa-focused gold producer, announced that it has received irrevocable undertakings from holders of the company's outstanding unsecured subordinated convertible loan notes (CLNs) due April 2020 representing 77.14% by nominal value, to vote in favour of a restructuring that will extend the maturity date of the CLNs by one year and also allow Shanta to redeem them earlier, in whole or in par, if it so chooses. The group noted that the changes are subject to the approval of CLNs holders with not less than 75% in nominal value. Eric Zurrin, Shanta’s chief executive officer, commented: "Management and the Board took the decision to defer the repayment of convertible loan notes in order to maximise financial flexibility ahead of making the payment to Barrick for the West Kenya acquisition announced last week. Today's announced convertibles restructuring allows Shanta the option to repay the loan note holders earlier than twelve months, if we so choose."

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