Echo Energy PLC (LON:ECHO) today extended an existing £1mln loan and, amid weak crude prices triggered by coronavirus impacts, has also decided to seek an additional standby credit facility for up to a further £1mln. In a statement, the company noted that production in Argentina remains in line with the board’s expectations.

PCF Group PLC (LON:PCF), the specialist bank, said trading in the first five months of its financial year has been strong. At its annual general meeting (AGM) today, chief executive officer Scott Maybury will tell shareholders that business origination in the five months to the end of February was up 30% year-on-year. In a subsequent statement, PCF announced that all resolutions were duly passed at the company’s AGM.

Open Orphan PLC (LON:ORPH) said its newly-acquired hVIVO business has landed a contract with an unnamed European biotech worth a minimum of £7mln. Researchers will carry out what’s called a human challenge study, which will be used to develop a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an illness which causes cold-like symptoms. Work is expected to start in the fourth quarter with revenue of £3.2mln expected to be booked in 2020.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP, CVE:TXP) has confirmed an upgrade to its reserves in Trinidad following the unlocking of discoveries in the Ortoire licence block. Proved (1P) reserves increased by 6% to 11.8mln barrels oil equivalent while proved and probable (2P) reserves increased 14% to 22.05mln barrels.

A new price target for United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG), in the wake of its recent Egypt acquisition, sees some 270% upside to the current market price. House broker Cenkos has adjusted its price target to 9.09p, up from 8.9p, against a market price of 2.45p. Cenkos also repeated a ‘buy’ recommendation for the AIM-quoted share.

NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) (OTCMKTS:NQMLF), the base and precious metals producer from its Hellyer Gold Mine in Tasmania Australia, announced that it has raised gross proceeds of £176,667 from a placing of 2,523,815 new ordinary shares at 7p each with UK based Institutional investor and a group of private investors for general working capital purposes.

Ashley House PLC (LON:ASH) said trading in its shares on AIM and NEX has been suspended because of the material uncertainty of the company’s financial position. The company was due to quit NEX at the end of this month anyway. The health and housing property partner said it has served notice of its intention to call in the administrators for F1 Modular Limited (F1M), the company’s 76%-owned subsidiary.

Shield Therapeutics PLC (LON:STX), a commercial-stage, pharmaceutical company with a focus on addressing iron deficiency, said it will be presenting at the Hardman & Co. investor forum, providing an overview of the business and the progress being made by the company. The firm noted that its chief executive officer, Carl Sterritt will present at the Hardman investor forum on Tuesday 10 March 2020 at Howard Kennedy LLP, 1 London Bridge, London, SE1 9BG starting from 5.30pm.

88 Energy Limited (LON:88E) (ASX:88E) has announced that its annual general meeting is scheduled to take place at 10:00am (WST) on 9 April 2020 at the Celtic Club, 48 Ord Street, West Perth WA 6005.