AssetCo PLC (LON:ASTO) was up 13% at 395p after developments in its litigation case against its former auditor, Grant Thornton.

The company, which provides and management and resources to the fire and emergency services in the Middle East, said the Court of Appeal dismissed Grant Thornton’s attempt to set aside the whole award of damages granted at first instance but had reduced the damages awarded to AssetCo to £20.8mln from £29.8mln, before a 25% deduction for contributory negligence.

The current estimate of the benefit to AssetCo including interest and costs is about £25mln; however, the precise amounts will be determined at further court hearings.

3.00pm: Blackbird lands gig with Tata Communications

Blackbird PLC (LON:BIRD) flew 14% higher to 19p after it partnered with the giant Indian conglomerate, Tata Communications.

The company will launch a cloud-based editing service for live video to the media and sports industries after recently securing a multi-year order from the Indian digital services giant.

The UK group said it will be “leveraging” the wider video acquisition capabilities of Tata’s Video Connect network as well as the cloud infrastructure of its Media Ecosystem to jointly deliver the offering.

2.20pm: Cineworld lifted by CEO’s comments

Cineworld Group PLC (LON:CINE) was up 1.1% at 61.3p but by recent measures that counts as a blockbuster gain.

Cineworld shareholders won’t appreciate the allusion to “Blockbuster”, the video rental giant that went out of business once film fans’ viewing habits changed and streaming killed its business model, but that’s one possible fate awaiting Cineworld and its cinemas.

Then again, maybe not … the shares rose after the heavily indebted group’s chief executive said on US TV that the cinema chain was seeing “sold out” film screenings after reopening its doors to the public following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in its markets.

1.30pm: Orosur Mining jumps as it says it expects to file results on or before the extended deadline date

Orosur Mining Inc (LON:OMI, TSE@OMI) rose 15% to 4.65p after it said it would take advantage of an extension and delay the publication of its results.

The company said it is continuing to work diligently and expeditiously to publish its annual filings and currently expects them to be filed on or before the extended filing deadline of October 15, 2020.

12.35pm: Oracle Power surges as it gets the call from Pakistan’s Private Power and Infrastructure Board

Oracle Power PLC’s (LON:ORCP) share price burnt brightly after a consortium it is part of was invited to meet Pakistan’s Private Power and Infrastructure Board.

The shares rose by a fifth to 0.75p after the mine developer said it had been invited, alongside its consortium partners China National Coal Development Company Ltd and the private office of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum, to present implementation plans for the Thar Block VI project to finalise a letter of intent.

The company said the meeting, scheduled for early September, will be chaired by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Power in Islamabad, Pakistan, along with representatives of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division), CPEC Authority and the Planning Commission (Islamabad).

11.00am: Amigo surges as founder vows to buy back in if he is appointed as CEO

Shares in Amigo Holdings PLC (LON:AMGO) were up 12% at 13.44p – having hit 15.92p at one time – despite the loan guarantor releasing a shocking set of results.


READ Amigo’s bad debt charge climbs, founder calls meeting to take back control

One reason why the shares have shot up might be because company founder, James Benamor, has pledged to buy 29% of Amigo’s shares at any price up to 20p per share if shareholders back his bid to be appointed to the Amigo board and take over as chief executive officer.

Benamor’s investment vehicle, the Richmond Group, once used to own a 61% stake in Amigo but since getting the right hump with the company’s board has an irrevocable order in place to sell 1% of the company’s shares every day that the market is open.

Benamor has called a general meeting to vote on his boardroom proposals and conceded that by the time the meeting takes place he will most probably own no shares in the company.

10.15am: Hunting hit hard by oil exploration slowdown

Hunting PLC (LON:HTG), the oilfield services provider, saw its shares sink 3.4% to 159.5p after it reported a dramatic drop in half-year earnings.

Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slumped to US$28.5mln in the first half of 2020 from US$77.4mln in the corresponding period of 2019 on revenues that tumbled to US$378mln from US$509mln.

The company said it has continued to trade at or near to break-even at the EBITDA level since March 2020, i.e. when the coronavirus pandemic started to exert its grip on the global economy.

9.30am: Manx Financial shares have plenty of legs as lender considers paying a dividend

Shares of Manx Financial Group PLC (LON:MFX) had plenty of legs on Friday, rising 4.8% to 8.75p on the back of the company’s half-year report.

The financial services firm, based on the Isle of Man, saw its loan book rise by 6.8% to £181.6mln at the end of June from £170.0mln a year earlier.

Jim Mellon, the lender’s executive chairman, said the company is in advanced discussions with its financial advisors over the introduction of a dividend scheme.

On the subject of dividends, Hostelworld Group PLC (LON:HSW) rose 3.2% to 65p after it confirmed plans to pay bonus shares worth €1 in lieu of a dividend.

The bonus issue is conditional on shareholder approval being obtained at a general meeting to be held on September 17. The bonus issue shares will be issued to shareholders who appear on the company’s register of members as at 6.00pm on September 17.

The hostels operator released its interims a couple of weeks ago in which it revealed it had, predictably, experienced a massive decline in bookings in the first half of the year although there has been some recovery in recent weeks.

Proactive news headlines

Integumen PLC (LON:SKIN) has agreed to buy water monitoring company Modern Water PLC (LON:MWG) for £21.25mln. The two companies have been working together since March when Integumen provided its AI technology to produce test kits for Modern Water and demand soared amid the pandemic as public bodies and private companies were looking to analyse possible coronavirus contamination in wastewater outlets from the residential, hospital and other sewage outflows.

Ncondezi Energy Limited (LON:NCCL) said it has signed a shareholder agreement term sheet with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), which will see it maintain a 40% stake in its 300-megawatt coal-fired power project and coal mine in Mozambique.

Trident Royalties PLC (LON:TRR, FSX:5KV) said it is paying A$800,000 in cash and shares for a package of four existing gold royalties in Western Australia. The projects are sited in the globally recognised Pilbara and Yilgarn mining regions and the deal represents the company’s fourth since listing on AIM just three months ago.

Blackbird Plc (LON:BIRD) has partnered with Tata Communications to launch a cloud-based editing service for live video to the media and sports industries after recently securing a multi-year order from the Indian digital services giant.

AfriTin Mining Ltd (LON:ATM) hailed a “transformational” year in its preliminary results having achieved initial production of tin concentrate and first revenues. Following last year’s transition from developer to producer, the AIM-listed firm is now working towards ramping up production to 720 of tin concentrate per annum then increasing capacity to 5,000 tonnes per annum.

Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK) has delivered positive earnings in its third quarter, which it attributed to higher revenues and margins in its genetics division after moving external production in-house and reducing its operating costs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) has announced metallurgical test-work results for its Toral project that demonstrates “excellent” lead, zinc and silver recovery and grades. Chief executive Laurence Read said: “While Europa Metals is extremely pleased with the results from the TOD-025, high-grade, sample, it is of particular note that ore sorting could well bring new areas of the deposit’s overall resource into the mineable area having previously been discounted due to the low-grade nature of the ore.”

Bezant Resources PLC (LON:BZT) has raised £625,000 to fund new exploration at the Hope copper-gold project in Namibia. In particular, Bezant said it will assess the gold potential at Gorob-Vendome deposit, where most of the historic drill programs were not assayed for gold, and at the Kalengwa project in Zambia to test one or more of the identified anomalies.

Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) has completed the retail component of the 1 for 3.2 pro-rata accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer, which formed part of the company’s underwritten A$98.5 million equity raising. The retail entitlement offer closed on August 25 with eligible shareholders applying for around A$11 million worth of new fully paid ordinary shares in line with their entitlements and additional new shares under the Retail Shortfall Facility.

Tavistock Investment PLC (LON:TAVI) will hold a second meeting after its annual shareholder meeting next month to consider a capital reduction proposal that it said will facilitate the payment of dividends to shareholders.

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG, CVE:FO) confirmed its strong financial position as it released interim results for the six months ended June 30. It ended the period with US$11.8mln of cash and it was debt-free. The pre-revenue firm reported a US$199,000 profit for the period due as its numbers were boosted by finance income of US$874,000.

Curzon Energy PLC (LON:CZN) told investors that it believes the Coos Bay coal bed methane assets continue to hold potential value though noted the present challenges.

Mkango Resources Ltd (CVE:MKA, LON:MKA) said a government delegation has expressed satisfaction with development work at Mkango’s Songwe Hills rare earths project in Malawi. The pre-revenue company had cash of US$6,440,697 at June 30, 2020, as second-quarter mining exploration expenditures stepped up to US$613,565 from US$301,186 as work on the feasibility study at Songwe Hills cracks on, which contributed to a net loss of US$913,674. 

FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) said a revised chapter 11 plan of reorganisation for its investee company Factom, which allows the company’s US$6mln SAFE note to be converted to equity in Factom, has been approved by the US bankruptcy court for the District of Delaware and Factom’s shareholders.

Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS) announced the appointment of Leonard Aurlianus to the role of chief financial officer, based in Jakarta.

Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) told investors it has further extended the deadline to complete its farm-out deal with ARA Petroleum to September 30 from August 28. The company continues to await government approval for the transaction.

IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) said it will be attending several online conferences in the coming months, including Mines and Money Online Connect Global, which runs from August 31 to September 3. Others include Precious Metals Summit Beaver Creek, 121 Mining Investment Online APAC, 121 Mining Investment Americas Online, International Precious Metals & Commodities Show and 121 Mining Investment Online EMEA.