Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Roses are red,
St Brides is blue,
Our busy clients
Have news for you.
Empyrean Energy Plc (AIM: EME) is confident the 276 Bcf contingent resources previously assigned to the Mako gas field on the Duyung PSC, offshore Indonesia will be significantly upgraded. Gaffney Cline and Associates has been commissioned by the partners in the PSC to update the competent person’s report it produced for Mako to reflect new data acquired from the successful Q4 2019 appraisal drilling programme. Empyrean also announced a six month extension to the long stop date for the transfer of a 15% interest in the Duyung PSC, offshore Indonesia to Coro Energy Plc to allow more time for regulatory sign-off.
Jangada Mines Plc (AIM: JAN) has increased its Pitomberias Vanadium Project in Brazil by 80%, taking the total licence area to 1,958 hectares. Geological mapping and rock chip sampling will be undertaken at the new tenements alongside the 2,500m drill programme currently underway. The company has also received the final CAD$1,000,000 payment due from the disposal of the previously owned Pedra Branca project and today published a shareholder Q&A document in line with its commitment to maintaining an open dialogue with shareholders.
Katoro Gold (AIM: KAT) provided an update on its Tanzanian assets. Good progress has been made regarding the disposal of its Imweru and Lubando gold projects to Lake Victoria Goldfields Limited for a total staged cash consideration of up to US$1.0 million and a 1.5% net smelter royalty. At the Haneti Polymetallic Project, Katoro is developing plans to drill the two nickel sulphide and PGM priority targets, Mihanza Hill and Mwaka Hill, and continues to explore funding options for its advancement, including joint-ventures or farm-ins, with confidence in its strategic value following positive feedback from the recent Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town. At a corporate level, the company received notices to exercise warrants over 4,800,000 ordinary shares of 1 pence in the Company at an exercise price of 1.5 pence, amounting to, in aggregate, £72,000, which will be used for general working capital purposes.
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In the news this week…
Waitrose vs M&S: the battle over Ocado continues between the two high end grocery stores. Read more here.
Uber is expecting to see profits by the end of the year, despite over $1 billion in losses. See details here.
Bloomberg launched ‘Bloomberg Green’ to cover climate news and a CO2 counter.
David Hockney’s ‘The Splash’ was sold for $29.8 million at Sotheby’s. Read details here.
Vivendi is considering making Universal Music public by 2023 following their annual profits and Warner Music Group filing for public offering last week. Together with Sony Music, the three labels control 80% of the market. Read further here.
The quaint village of Lover in Wiltshire stamped around 8,000 letters with ‘Sent from Lover’ from their pop up in a Royal Mail post office thanks to a monumental effort from half the village.
If you’re a bit more cynical about the holiday, the San Antonio Zoo in Texas is giving the opportunity to name a cockroach or a rat after your ex-lover (or just someone you have a grudge against) that you can see being fed on a live stream. Alternatively, head down to Shoreditch to enjoy the ‘Voodoo Your Ex’ service. Or if you just want a good laugh, read these romantic evenings gone wrong.
In light of Valentine’s Day (which I’m sure we are all enjoying with our beloved colleagues just like us at St Brides!), you may be wondering how the day came about. St Valentine’s Day is somewhat unique amongst other major holidays, in the way that it does not have a distinct or clear origin, and has a multitude of myths and legends (and clever marketing campaigns) surrounding its traditions. Read on to learn more about, what turns out to be, a very British celebration of love…
Saint Valentine of Rome allegedly restored the sight of the daughter of the judge persecuting him, and sent her the first valentine with a letter signed Your Valentine before his execution on February 14th 300 AD for illegally marrying soldiers. The Western Christian Feast Day was created in his honour.
Chaucer made one of the earliest associations between courtly love and the feast day in his 1375 poem Parlement of Foules, an association that did not exist prior. This resurfaces in 1590 in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: ‘To be your Valentine’ – but this is not his only contribution to the holiday as thousands of love letters are sent every year to Verona addressed to his character Juliet.
Everyone’s favourite romantic cliché poem first crops up in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene in 1590 (‘She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew’), before appearing as a nursery rhyme collection in 1784: ‘The rose is red, the violet’s blue // The honey’s sweet, and so are you.’
The Victorians popularised St Valentine’s as the celebration of love by introducing Paper Valentines which were produced in, what Dickens called, ‘Cupid’s Manufactory’ and Fancy Valentines, made with real lace and ribbons. These predated the first greeting card in 1843 for Christmas.
Mayan’s used cocoa as part of their wedding ceremonies for fertility as the bride and groom would exchange sips of hot cocoa, whilst the Aztecs believed it to be an aphrodisiac (this has been disproved by modern science).
The year after the postage stamp was introduced in 1840 400,000 Valentines were sent across the UK, giving way to the anonymous love letter and allowing the otherwise prudish Victorians to send risqué verses or ‘vinegar valentines’ to enemies of the heart – by 1871, 1.2 million cards were sent and postmen were given extra meal allowances.
Cadbury introduced Fancy Boxes in 1868 – the heart shaped chocolate box keepsake – and was copied by other major chocolate manufacturers so these continue to fill shop shelves today with more than 36 million sold a year!
The Victorians also introduced the rose giving trend in honour of Venus, the goddess of love. Now, Interflora delivers around 3 bouquets a second on Valentines!
Spending on cards alone in the UK was £1.7bn in 2018, and this year the day is forecasted to be worth around $27.4 bn, up 32% from last year as marketing begins to extend beyond romantic love. Spending on pets is over $1.7billion, and since the airing of Parks and Recreation’s ‘Galentine’s Day’ episode in 2010, spending on friends has tripled – in the UK, it reached £853m in 2019, 7.8% more than 2018.
145 million valentines are sent each year in the US, making it the second biggest occasion for sales of greeting cards after Christmas. Valentines was a precursor to the ‘Hallmark’ holidays after it was introduced in 1847 by Esther Howland, inspired by the English practice of sending valentines which had travelled across the pond through transatlantic lovers.
As the Western holiday has spread to a global phenomenon, here are some of the different ways it is celebrated around the world:
Denmark: Men traditionally send ‘gaekkebrev’ – funny poems – to those they love. In a sort of lover’s game of hangman, they are signed anonymously with a line of dots for each letter of their name and if the receiver guesses the name successfully, they are owed an Easter egg.
Japan: Valentine’s day was imported in the 1950s by a chocolate company wanting to cash in on the tradition in the Japanese market – but the concept got lost in translation. Their advertising campaign centred around women gifting chocolate to men, as opposed to the Western tradition of the other way round, and is now engrained in their culture and is not just limited to romantic interests, but any men in their lives with chocolate companies making half their annual sales on Valentines.
South Africa: Inspired by the Roman fertility festival Lupercalia, women wear their heart on their sleeves – literally – by pinning the name of their lovers or crushes on their shirt sleeves.
Estonia and Finland: They celebrate a more inclusive holiday instead called Friends Day, celebrating the love between friends instead of romantic connections. There is even a ‘love bus’ for hopeful singletons to make a love connection.
Philippines: Here it is tradition for couples to partake in mass weddings, which can see hundreds of couples in a single ceremony, and thousands involved across the country.
El Salvador: Similar to Secret Santa, the traditional game of Secret Friend is common with the usual gift exchange after drawing names, and the giver must say one kind thing about the recipient when gifting them.
Saudi Arabia: Valentine’s Day is banned here, with roses and romantic cards illegal to sell in the lead up to the 14th, and public displays of affection are punishable by law. But there is an underground market that sells red roses for those that are truly dedicated…