Weekly Brief 12th June

In the words of rock legend Alice Cooper: “School’s out for summer!”

This week started with a lot of disappointed parents who were all set to pack their kids off to school, only to be told with barely a day’s notice that, actually, it was no longer thought to be feasible and instead schools will be given “flexibility” to decide what does and doesn’t work for them.  Health Secretary Matt Hancock conceded at Monday’s Downing Street briefing that schools in England may not fully reopen until September “at the earliest”.  It’s going to be one long (hopefully hot!) summer.  So for all those parents out there worried about their sanity, have no fear the Weekly Brief is here.  If you are tired of trying to remember how to use a protractor or how to do long division, take a break, sit back and tuck into your weekly helping of company news from the St Brides stable and of course that little extra helping on the side of other news you may have missed.

Client News 

The week started with news from BlueRock Diamonds (AIM: BRD), that it had completed a private sale of 2,400 carats at an average of USD290 per carat for a total of USD700,000.  This was extremely well received, and an excellent result given the highly uncertain market.  The Company currently has a cash balance of c£1.1 million with a further £268,000 to be received in August 2020 from the Teichmann Group in accordance with the terms of the placing in February 2020.

Armadale Capital Plc (AIM: ACP) received notice to convert a total of £150,000 convertible loan notes into Armadale shares at a price of 3p per share, being 4,999,997 ordinary shares. In addition to this, Armadale received warrant exercise notices over an aggregate of 9,265,960 Ordinary Shares at a price of 2.2p per share, providing the company with proceeds of £203,851.12.

Dekel Agri-Vision Plc (AIM: DKL), the West African focused agriculture company, released its monthly production and sales update for its Ayenouan palm oil project in Côte d’Ivoire, highlighting that May 2020 is expected to be another profitable month for the Company.  The Company also announced the appointment of Arden Partners to act as Nominated Adviser and joint broker with immediate effect.

Secure Property Development and Investment Limited (AIM: SPDI) provided a corporate update which included how its business is coping with COVID-19.  The answer is well.  As the south eastern European real estate company’s tenants largely operate in defensive sectors such as food and telcoms, none have been subject to lockdown.  As a result, management believes 2020 FY results will not be adversely affected by the virus.  As for 2019’s results, the pandemic has meant year end valuations of its properties have been unable to take place so SPDI’s FY results are now expected to be published by 30 September. Management did say that, with all its commercial properties almost fully let, annual rental income for the 2019 year stands at €2,1m, an 18% increase compared last year when the effect of assets sold in 2018 is stripped out. Meanwhile progress with the Arcona Property Fund N.V. transaction, which involves SPDI transferring its non-Greek assets to Arcona to create a large central eastern European fund, is progressing slowly but is expected to pick up as lockdowns ease across Europe.

Earlier this week, Board Directors of Keras Resources plc (AIM: KRS), the AIM listed mineral resource company, bought a total 11,000,000 Ordinary Shares at a price of 0.14 pence each in the Company, bringing their collective holding to 26.78%.

Europa Oil & Gas (AIM: EOG) is acquiring an offshore Ireland licence from DNO for a nominal upfront sum.  FEL 3/19, which contains the 1.2tcf Edge prospect, is in the proven gas play in the Slyne Basin and is located close to the producing 1 tcf Corrib gas field.  The Acquisition is in line with Europa’s strategy to refocus the Company’s portfolio in Ireland towards gas, which is set to play a key role in Ireland’s energy mix.  The new licence is located close to Europa’s existing FEL 4/19 which holds the 1.5tcf Inishkea prospect. Together the Company believes it has a key strategic position in the Slyne Basin and intends to launch a farmout to secure a partner or partners to fund future drilling activity.

Ferro Alloy Resources (LSE: FAR) raised $300,000 on favourable terms through a subscription for the company’s bonds on the Astana Stock Exchange in Kazakhstan. Production from the hydrometallurgical process was re-started on 1 June 2020 and they now have significant production from both the hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical process routes.  Daily overall production in the first 10 days of resumed operations has been 69% higher than the average for the first quarter of 2020, even with seeing some Covid-19 related delays. FAR expect to see further significant rises in production over the next few months.

There’s no holding back FastFoward Innovations’ (AIM: FFWD) investee companies, which continue to generate a steady stream of positive news.  The latest, announced on the 11th June, was from Juvenescence, a life sciences company focused on modifying aging and increasing human health span, which has appointed Dr. Ellen Donnelly to its Senior Leadership Team.  Most recently the CEO for Modus Therapeutics AB, Ellen brings a strong background in neuroscience to the company from her prior leadership positions at Pfizer, spanning neuroscience research and development.

Further to the Company’s announcement of 8 April 2020, Katoro Gold Plc (AIM: KAT) confirmed the disposal of Imweru is now complete for a total staged consideration of US$1.0 million and a 1.5% Net Smelter Royalty on all future gold production.  The disposal enables the management team at Katoro to focus financial and managerial resources on the highly significant Blyvoor gold tailings production project.  In addition to this, the disposal also adds to the Company’s working capital, including up to US$1 million in cash payments and a 1.5% net smelter royalty, which is a valuable asset recognising the near-term operational plans and anticipated scale of production.

You may have missed…

Emmerson PLC CEO, Hayden Locke, took part in a shareholder conference call hosted by Value the Markets during the week, answering shareholders questions following the release of its FS results.  Watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/427503410

BlueRock Diamonds’ Chairman, Mike Houston, spoke to Proactive Investors on the news of the private sale of diamonds, which supports the Company’s strategy of commencing production ahead of the opening of traditional sales channels.  Watch the video here: https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/921765/bluerock-diamonds-chairman-updates-on-sale-of-2400-carats-from-karevleei-mine-921765.html

In the news this week…

The Duke of Edinburgh turned 99 on Wednesday.  Apparently, the celebrations were “home-based and distinctly low-key”, with the day spent at Windsor Castle, where the Duke has been isolating with the Queen since March.

Walt Disney Studios is developing a new movie musical based on Lionel Richie’s song catalogue.  Tentatively titled All Night Long, the film is expected to be more aligned with movies like Mamma Mia, which is inspired by ABBA’s songs, rather than biopic-oriented features, such as the Freddie Mercury-focused Bohemian Rhapsody and Elton John-based Rocket man.

Gone with the Wind has been taken off HBO Max following calls for it to be removed from the US streaming service.  HBO Max said the 1939 film was “a product of its time” and depicted “ethnic and racial prejudices” that “were wrong then and are wrong today”.

The value of UK toy sales rose by 17% in the two months from the beginning of lockdown compared with the same period last year, according to analysts NPD.  Monopoly and Dobble are among the 10 biggest-selling toys and games during lockdown, with parents favouring games and puzzles “to keep the kids occupied” while working.

Monday 8 June 2020 was World Oceans Day, a growing global movement to call on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030.  This critical need is called 30×30.  By safeguarding at least 30% of our ocean through a network of highly protected areas we can help ensure a healthy home for all!  Sign the petition here – https://worldoceansday.org/


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