Weekly Brief 21st February 2020

Trains less packed, queues for lunchtime sarnies shorter, less people rushing to and from work – welcome to half term week in the City.

For those not spending the week gracing the ski slopes or taking the kids to the Natural History Museum, life (or should that be work?) goes on. But hey! Don’t worry because before you know it, soon it will be your turn to pack up your bags and go off on hols! And with that in mind, why don’t you take a look at the exciting news a number of our clients have reported this week. As well as getting up to speed with any developments you may have missed, you never know you might just find inspiration for this year’s holiday destination – South Africa, Australia, Israel, Tanzania, or Pakistan anyone?


Client News:

BlueRock Diamonds Plc (AIM: BRD) announced the grant of a total of 130,320 share options over ordinary shares of 5pence each in the Company have been awarded to the Executive Chairman of the Company, and Chief Executive Officer of Kareevlei Mining Pty Ltd who is also the recently appointed Chief Operating Officer. This is following the 2019 Target Options that have been granted after the company produced 14,033 carats throughout the year. BlueRock has also raised £1.9million through an oversubscribed placing and a subscription of 2,235,289 new ordinary shares each in the company. These proceeds will be used to fast track doubling production at the Kareevlei Diamond Mine, representing an endorsement of the opportunity that the mine offers from new and existing shareholders.

FastForward Innovations Ltd’s (AIM: FFWD) investee company EMMAC Life Sciences has become the first European company to export medical cannabis to Israel following the successful exportation of 400kg of medical cannabis to the Bazelet Group, which is the largest medical cannabis company in Israel. FastForward has a current equity interest totalling 2.4% in the stock of EMMAC.

MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: MGC) is raising capital and has received a firm commitment from a strategic investor to raise A$1.0million by way of a share placement at A3.2 cents per share. A share purchase plan will also be offered to raise up to A$3.0million from eligible shareholders at A2.7cents per share. These two combined are intended to raise approximately A$4.0million. A delivery of 2,000 units of MP100 for an order received last month is expected to be delivered to Australian distributors in February, which will nearly double the current total of medicines prescribed to date. Additionally, MGC has received an 85% increase to its January purchase order volume for the immediate production and delivery of its Mercury Pharma line of proprietary prescription medicinal products. Purchase Orders for 3,700 units have been received, leading to the current total of MGC medicines prescribed more than doubling. Revenue from the Mercury Pharma orders is A$430,000 – a considerable positive impact on MGC’s short term revenues.

Oracle Power Plc (AIM: ORCP) signed a Consortium Agreement with its partners, China National Coal Development Company Ltd. and Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum Private Office. The Parties intend to jointly develop a combined lignite coal mine in Block VI of the Thar desert in Pakistan for a 1,320MW (2x 660MW) mine mouth power plant, and coal to gas and liquid. The company hopes to produce sustainable and low cost energy in Pakistan, whilst also providing a supply to meet the country’s growing gas demand.

Armadale Capital Plc (AIM: ACP) confirmed its Mahenge Liandu Graphite Project continues to advance towards production, with the definitive feasibility study due to be completed in March. With results to-date underpinning a high-grade, low cost, long life operation and recent meetings with Tanzanian officials signalling their support of development, Armadale is focussed on accelerating commercialisation and funding initiatives.

United Oil and Gas (AIM: UOG) announced the Egyptian authorities have given the green light for its acquisition of Rockhopper Egypt Pty Ltd, which holds a 22% interest in the producing Abu Sennan field onshore Egypt, from Rockhopper Exploration plc. This was the last regulatory condition outstanding and the acquisition is now expected to complete on 28 February. The acquisition will add production to United’s portfolio of multistage assets in the UK, Italy, and offshore Jamaica. At the last count, gross production from Abu Sennan averaged c. 8,000 boepd in January 2020, equating to c. 1,760 boepd net to United’s soon to be acquired 22% interest.


You may have missed…

COO of Harvest Minerals, Mark Heyhoe, spoke with Crux Investor on sales, share prices and trials.

CEO of Oracle Power, Naheed Memon, was interviewed by Share Talk.


In the news this week…

British retailer Laura Ashley is struggling the secure a loan for its future survival.

Pizza delivery company Domino’s beat analysts’ expectations after their sales report for the quarter amidst tough competition.

Coming to a town near…Reading: Blackhall Studios is building a £150million film studio in the Thames Valley Science Park

A well preserved 70,000 year old Neanderthal skeleton has been discovered in Iraq, providing new insights into the species

Apple stocks dropped 1.8% due to the impacts of coronavirus in China

Fallen angels: Victoria’s Secret is going private after dwindling sales, and its owner L Brands’ shares slid 2% on Thursday amidst backlash the company has received

Random Act of Kindness Week is this week, so celebrate it by trying to find little ways this weekend to make someone smile and make kindness the norm!


Be prepared to part ways with Adam Smith and welcome JMW Turner on the new £20 note. In celebration of it, here are some things you may not know about the banknote or its new face…

The project has taken four years to complete

It will be produced more than a billion times during its lifespan (with a life expectancy of over 10 years)

The public nominated the candidates, and received 200,000 responses which were then used for the shortlist from which an expert panel chose Turner from

Other candidates in the running were William Hogarth, designer Josiah Wedgwood, sculptor Barbara Hepworth, and Charlie Chaplin

Making Turner’s self portrait (painted in 1799 and on display in Tate Britain) to fit on the note took a team of designers about two months

It features Turner’s painting, ‘The Fighting Temeraire’, in the background, which can be seen in person at the National Gallery and at the Turner exhibition at the Tate Britain in the autumn, and was voted the nation’s favourite painting

It is the first note to have the signature of the Bank of England’s chief cashier since 2018, Sarah John

It is the most common note in circulation in the UK, with a current two billion in circulation

The larger of two windows on the note is based on the shape of the Trafalgar Square fountains

The quote ‘Light is therefore colour’ is from Turner’s 1818 lecture on his use of light and colour in his pictures

Turner left around 550 oil paintings, 2,000 watercolours, and 30,000 works on paper to his country in his will and is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral

Turner retained his Cockney accent throughout his life

88% of detected banknote forgeries were £20 notes

The new note has tactile markings so it is accessible for those with sight loss, and worked closely with the Royal National Institute of Blind People

Wondering what will happen to those 2 billion paper £20 notes? Around £40 billion worth of old paper notes will be destroyed in the process, and they will be recycled and used as compost for agriculture

Avid collector? Here are the serial numbers you should look out for in the new notes


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