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AIQ Limited drops on return from suspension as investment vehicle completes acquisition

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

Billing Services Group -

AIQ Limited (LON:AIQ), the investment vehicle, returned from suspension 36% lower at 17.5p after completing an acquisition.

The company, which is focused on acquisitions in the e-commerce sector, has acquired Alchemist Codes, an information technology (IT) solutions developer incorporated in Malaysia, for roughly £2.3mln, to be satisfied through the issue of shares valued at 17.8p.

Alchemist Codes has two primary lines of business: an IT consultancy business, which provides customised software, web and app development for clients, and an e-commerce cashback solution, OCTAPLUS, which leverages proprietary data analytic tools, including artificial intelligence technology, for user targeting.

9.30am: Billing Services goes ahead with pledge to pay a special dividend

Billing Services Group Limited (LON:BILL) saw its shares surge 9.7% higher to 3.4p in early trade on Thursday as it went against the modern trend and announced a special dividend.

The provider of telecommunications clearing and financial settlement products and verification services recently completed the sale of BSG Wireless Limited to Single Digits Connection and had pledged at that time to return some cash to shareholders.

It is intending to pay out US$4.8mln, which works out at around 2.91 US cents per share.

Meanwhile, Intelligent Ultrasound Group PLC (LON:MED) rose 8.8% to 9.25p following its full-year results, continuing this week’s good run.

Yesterday, the ultrasound artificial intelligence software and simulation company saw its shares perk up after it announced the launch of a coronavirus (COVID-19) training module for its BodyWorks ultrasound simulator.

The shares advanced further today after the company, which has a market capitalisation of £18.7mln, revealed it currently has cash of around £6.2mln. Loss before tax in 2019 widened to £4.56mln from £3.62mln in 2018, largely reflecting an increase in administrative expenses.

Proactive news headlines:

Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) has raised around £1.2mln through a share subscription from Ox Distributing, its primary distribution partner in the US. The maker of cannabidiol (CBD) products said Ox has subscribed for around 23.7mln new shares at a price of 5p each, the same as Wednesday’s closing price.

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR) said it has inked a licensing deal with an unnamed Chinese specialty pharmaceutical company that will develop the UK firm's FLT3+Aurora kinases portfolio, including SAR-20293, a preclinical drug candidate for acute myeloid leukaemia and other blood-borne cancers. The AIM-listed group will receive £50,000 upfront and a further £900,000 milestone payment related to oral bioavailability - the ability of the drug to reach the therapeutic area after being taken by mouth.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (LON:BMV) said it has teed up US$5mln of debt finance for its gold mine projects in South Korea. Talks are underway with the lender over borrowings that will be repaid by production from the Gobang and Kochang mines.   As an interim funding measure, Bluebird has borrowed £200,000 from investors until funding for the projects is received.

Block Energy PLC (LON:BOE) has acquired new acreage in Georgia, picking up two areas held by Schlumberger for no upfront cash consideration. Schlumberger will instead be given options over Block Energy stock - 120mln shares, or 23.3% of the company, ascribing a base deal value of around US$6mln.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) has received maiden dividends from its wholly-owned Turkish operation subsidiary Galata Madencilik after the company’s Kiziltepe gold mine began generating cash and profits. A total of £1.6mln has been transferred to Ariana.

Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) is to take a 29% stake in AqualnSilico, a software firm developing tools to optimise wastewater treatment across multiple industries. The IP investor said AquaInSilico, a spin out from NOVA University in Portugal, has developed sophisticated algorithms to help detect possible problems with treatment processes before they can be diagnosed by humans.

Tekcapital PLC’s (LON:TEK) portfolio company Lucyd, a developer of “smartglasses”, has filed a new patent and a trademark on its forthcoming Vyrb app. The Vyrb app will enable users to activate “a world of smartphone actions” with their voice in just moments, including social media posting. By using the app along with Lucyd Bluetooth glasses, the user can spend less time looking at their phone and keep more of their focus on the real world. Lucyd is looking to release the app in December 2020.

Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS) has issued a helpful step-by-step guide that will help mitigate the security risks for companies whose employees are working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is based on the advice it is providing FTSE-100-listed clients.

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ has said it is monitoring the coronavirus situation as it evolves and is implementing precautionary measures to maintain the safety of its employees and ensure the sustainability of its business. In a statement, Anglo Asian noted that it is continuing to produce gold from its operations in Azerbaijan for the time being.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) has told investors it plans to press ahead with the drilling of the Chinook prospect, in Trinidad, unless it becomes “absolutely necessary” to suspend operations due to the coronavirus (Covid-19). Operationally, the company’s focus is on delivering the Coho and Cascadura discovery wells – which will significantly boost production volumes – and drill Chinook which follows on as the third well on the Ortoire block.

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) has told investors that its new Beetaloo shale well, in Australia, will be suspended before fracking as the operator responds to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The AIM-quoted explorer, in a statement, said that partner Origin Energy has been adhering to advice from the Northern Territory and Federal Government on health and safety and social distancing.

Sunrise Resources PLC (LON:SRES) has said it continues to make good progress in the permitting process for its CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada, USA. Currently, all Sunrise staff are working from home, and this is not having and is not expected to have any negative effect on the company’s business.

Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (NYSEAMERICAN:CMCL) (LON:CMCL) (TSE:CAL) has said it is confident it can manage the likely knock-on effects to its Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe of the 21-day shut-down in South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic. The supply chain for the procurement of a significant portion of mining consumables and capital equipment for the Blanket mine comes from South Africa. However, the company expects no interruption to its gold production.

BigDish PLC (LON:DISH) has said its business has been immediately affected by the government’s decision to order all UK restaurants to close temporarily. The technology firm, which helps restaurants fill tables in less busy times, said its Manchester team has been furloughed to preserve cash and so the company can qualify for government assistance. BigDish’s technology and business support teams in the Philippines are working from home. Technology development continues and no material effect to this aspect of this business is currently envisaged. The team have all accepted voluntary salary reductions during this period.

Impax Environmental Markets PLC (LON:IEM) said that, as a consequence of the emergency measures being implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which include restrictions on gatherings of more than two people and the expected delay to the company's Annual General Meeting, its board has determined to pay this year's dividend as an interim dividend, rather than as a final dividend requiring shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting. Accordingly, the firm will pay an interim dividend for the 2019 financial year of 3.0p per ordinary share on 24 April 2020 to shareholders who appear on the register on 3 April 2020, with an ex-dividend date of 2 April 2020.  This dividend is as at the same level as that paid in respect of the previous financial year.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR), the AIM-listed investor in natural resource opportunities, announced that on 25 March 2020, its chief executive officer, Michael McNeilly, purchased 1,250,000 ordinary shares in the company on market, at a price of 0.99p each, for a total consideration of £12,375. Following this purchase, the group noted, McNeilly is interested in a total of 5,247,733 Ordinary Shares, representing 0.34% of the Company’s issued share capital.

Location Sciences PLC (LON:LSAI), the leading location data verification company, said it has agreed to issue warrants to subscribe for up to, in aggregate, 74,286,667 new ordinary shares at an exercise price of 0.1p each. It said the warrants, will be issued to all those participating in the placing an issue price of 0.875p per share to raise approximately £0.975mln announced by the company on 6 March 2020. If all of the warrants are exercised, the gross proceeds receivable by the company would be £74,287, bringing the aggregate value of the fundraising, including the proceeds of the placing, to approximately £1.0mln, the group said. Mark Slade, chief executive officer of Location Sciences, commented:  "The impact of COVID-19 on the financial markets has been profound, which has resulted in our share price falling well below the Issue Price and, as a consequence, we have had to try to balance the interests of Placees with what is best for the Company.”

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