Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) is the top riser on Thursday, up 73% at 0.016p, as the digital media company said it no longer needed a previously agreed debt financing facility thanks to a “material growth in activity”.

This is thanks to an ongoing social media management services contract with JOE Media in the UK, that it said will soon be extended to include Ireland as well. 

Iconic also flagged the completion of an “innovative type of consultation service” contract to produce research, data and insights for a multinational consumer goods firm, which the said it will look to offer to a range of new clients going forward.

1.19pm: Upland Resources downed after CEO steps away

Upland Resources Ltd (LON:UPL) shares fell sharply on Thursday after its chief executive stepped down but were rallying slightly in afternoon trading, down 13% to 0.74p.

The oil and gas company, which is looking to build a portfolio of attractive upstream assets in Tunisia, South-East Asia and the UK, said CEO Chris Pitman is relinquishing his role and will now focus on sourcing and developing new business opportunities. 

The AIM-listed company said it was “a strategic decision made by the board to ensure the company continues to deliver new attractive upstream assets”, with non-executive chairman Bolhassan Di assuming the role as interim CEO with the intention of recruiting a new boss within the next three months.

Another big faller in percentage terms but not in real terms is Phimedix PLC (LON:PHM), the cash shell that earlier in the week said its shares would be suspended as it has yet to tie up a reverse takeover deal.

The shares were hit again as serial pharma and biotech entrepreneur Ali Mortazavi sold down his stake in the shell to 10.72% from 13.5% ahead of the suspension.

Phimedix shares dropped 30% to 1p.

11.56am: Wameja warms up as Mastercard Inc buys out HomeSend hub partner

Wameja Ltd (LON:WJA)(ASX:WJA) shares were major risers as Mastercard Inc (NYSE:M) decided to buy up the listed vehicle for its HomeSend global payment hub.

The US payment colossus has offered to pay £0.08 per share for its joint venture partner in the payment hub, which earlier in the week revealed second-quarter gross value flow jumped 93% compared to the first quarter and average transaction value rose 9%. 

Wameja, the publicly quoted vehicle for investment in the HomeSend JV with Mastercard, said a vote on the offer is expected to be held in November, but dates are indicative and subject to change.

10.32am: DeepMatter drops deeper

DeepMatter Group PLC (LON:DMTR) shares fell despite its half-year results showing smaller losses and revenues continuing to build. 

The company, which is looking to help laboratories with digitisation through its DigitalGlassware platform, reported revenue more than doubling to £0.54mln and losses from continuing operations of £1.2mln from £1.6mln a year ago.

Although management were optimistic on the outlook as pharmaceutical and academic organisations seek solutions for working remotely and in a socially distanced environment, with M&A activity bouncing back in recent months, the shares fell 12% to 1.89p.

Hammerson PLC (LON:HMSO), however, was the big faller in London on Thursday, screeching down 92% to 22.98p as its rights issue shares were admitted, which is expected to stop it from breaching its debt covenants.

9.15am: TT Electronics jumps on launch of new saliva-based coronavirus test

TT Electronics PLC (TTG) shares shot 39% higher to 266p in early trading on Thursday after the company said it will be the exclusive manufacturer of a new coronavirus (COVID-19) screening device.

Designed by British start-up iAbra, with the support of chip giant Intel, the Virolens device uses microscopic holographic imaging and artificial intelligence software to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus from a non-intrusive saliva swab test within 20 seconds. 

TT said it has so far received £2mln of initial orders for the device and testing cartridges and iAbra has indicated its intent to purchase further devices and cartridges with associated revenue to TT of circa £280mln, following trials in partnership with initial customer Heathrow Airport ahead of expected wider use in airports, offices, sports venues and other locations.

Heathrow boss John Holland Kaye said iAbra’s test is “quicker, cheaper and potentially more accurate” than the government’s swab test and urged the government to fast-track the technology.

Elsewhere, Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) was wafted 35% higher to 20.89p as it secured a big European distribution contract for its Chill-branded range of tobacco alternative products containing CBD.

As part of the agreement, the products will be made available to consumers in more than 15 markets across the European Union, complemented by the distributor’s established e-commerce presence.

Trevor Taylor, co-CEO of Zoetic, said: “Our new partner’s 15 years of trading experience within the EU tobacco market will provide an excellent platform to enable the sale of our products to consumers across Europe.”

Proactive news headlines:

Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE), the London-listed vertically integrated CBD company, announced that it has signed its second international distribution contract, as well as noting continued progress with its core CBD business. The agreement will see the company’s premium CBD offering reach consumers in over 15 markets across the European Union, with thousands of stores making preparations to stock the Chill range. In a promising development, this physical footprint will be complemented by an established eCommerce presence which saw substantial revenue generated from vaping products alone during the last financial period, it added. The agreement follows directly from news revealed on July 6, 2020, that the company had signed its first international distribution contract for the Chill range of products. Zoetic also revealed that, following significant demand for its Chill brand products, the group has restocked its range of tobacco alternative CBD smokes online.

Iconic Labs PLC (LON:ICON) said it has completed a contract to produce research, data and insights for a multinational consumer goods firm. The media and technology firm said the deal was an “innovative type of consultation service” that it will look to offer to a range of new clients going forward. Separately, Iconic said it is continuing to work under the management services agreement with JOE Media and it is currently fulfilling a contract to manage the production and distribution of bespoke social content through JOE Media in the UK, which is expected to carry a value of over £150,000.

LoopUp Group PLC (LON:LOOP) has unveiled what it said is a “significant new contract” with one of the world’s top five law firms. The conference call and remote meeting specialist said following a successful pilot with 300 users, its LoopUp Meeting service will now be rolled out globally at the law firm, which has the potential to become one of LoopUp’s largest accounts. The deal follows two other top 100 global law firm wins in July and August, which the company said demonstrated its “continued success” in expanding its footprint in the professional services market. LoopUp also said it has successfully expanded its existing partnership with leading Caribbean and Latin America telecoms firm C&W Communications with a new contract that will run to the end of its 2022 financial year.

ReNeuron Group PLC (LON:RENE) said dosing has now begun in the US for the expanded phase IIa trial of its hRPC cell therapy for the degenerative eye condition retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Up to a further nine people will be given higher dose levels under a revised protocol at sites in America and the UK. Ten patients have already taken part in this stage of the study. ReNeuron said it expects to present further data over the next 12 months and it believes it will be able to compile enough clinical evidence in that time to seek approval in the second half of next year for a single pivotal clinical trial.

Gfinity PLC (LON:GFIN) said it has been appointed by chocolate maker Cadbury to deliver a new gaming tournament, the ‘Cadbury Heroes Parents League’, which will be broadcast across the company’s owned channels including Twitch and YouTube. The tournament will involve 12 teams of two players, with each team consisting of one gaming influencer playing alongside a parent or guardian. The influencers will be announced at the start of October, alongside the game used during the tournament, following which there will be a period of training for the teams before the tournament is live-streamed in early November before a final hosted at the Gfinity arena in Fulham. Gfinity also said that it will be paid a six-figure fee to deliver the tournament, which it said will “contribute positively” towards its target of moving into profitability in the first quarter of 2021.

Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) has said that further exploration work by Newcrest, its partner at the Havieron deposit at Paterson in Western Australia has indicated the potential for a bulk mining, open pit prospect. Step-out drilling in the north-west of Havieron identified the breccia target and additional work has now expanded it to a size of 300 metres (m) x 100m x 300m that is open at depth.

 Greatland noted that Newcrest also pointed out higher-grade zones related to massive sulphide mineralisation were observed, while also demonstrating geological and grade continuity. New drill results from Newcrest in the north of Havieron included five holes with gold grades between 1-2.6,0 grams per ton (g/t), 2.6 g/t at widths of 116m-309m at depths of between 600m-900m.

Benchmark PLC (LON:BMK), the aquaculture biotechnology business, has revealed that the European Medicine Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) has adopted an opinion recommending the inclusion of BMK08’s active pharmaceutical ingredient in fin fish as an allowed substance regarding maximum residue limits (MRL) in foodstuffs of animal origin. The group noted that the MRL opinion is an important step towards the launch of BMK08 together with the company’s water purification system CleanTreat in the second quarter of its financial year to end-September 2021.

IQ-AI PLC (LON:IQAI) said its subsidiary, Imaging Biometrics (IB) has launched its next development initiative, IB Trax, to further build upon its leading position in brain tumour imaging,  The company said the new application will leverage the proven ability of quantitative Delta T1 maps, among other technologies, and focus on an improved workflow for evaluating both brain metastases and primary brain cancer across time.

Zaim Credit Systems PLC (LON:ZAIM), the Russia-focused microlender, has cut its store base and accelerated its move online to offset the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Moscow and elsewhere. Siro Cicconi, Zaim’s chief executive said the business had proved resilient during the lockdown period and action on costs had bolstered its position. At the end of June 2020, Zaim said it had 32 stores compared to 92 in March, while its online operation was scaled up during the Russian lockdown period. Restrictions in Moscow started to be lifted from May, since when demand for credit has started to recover, said Cicconi, especially through the group’s online arm.

Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) told investors it has now formally lodged its Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) for the planned operations at the Leigh Creek mine, 500 kilometres north of Adelaide. The documentation was lodged with the South Australian government and it follows a prior draft submission. Strategic Minerals said that it feels confident that an approval will be forthcoming before the year-end, given the level of detail in the draft version and the encouragement it has received to date from the South Australian government.

Filta Group Holdings PLC (LON:FLTA), a provider of fryer management and other services to commercial kitchens, has announced the appointment of Brian Riordan as managing director of the company’s UK division with effect from October 5, 2020. The group noted that Riordan brings over 25 years’ experience of working across food services and facilities management, sales and marketing, retail and hotels. Most recently he was a divisional managing director at Aramark UK, a leading food and facilities services provider which caters for clients across multiple sectors, including education, healthcare, business, prisons, and leisure. Prior to joining Aramark, Riordan spent a number of years as an operations director at Compass Group, the largest contract foodservice company in the world.

Cadogan Petroleum PLC (LON:CAD) has confirmed a solid balance sheet and robust, cash-generative operations in Ukraine, despite a number of shut-ins and suspensions, in its interim results. The group ended June, 2020, with US$11.6mln of cash, which it confirmed is sufficient to continue operations for the foreseeable future. Production for the six month period averaged 230 barrels of oil per day (bopd), down from 297 bopd in the comparative period last year due to the Blazhiv-3 and Blazhiv-Monastyrets-3 wells being offline for over five months.

Supply@ME Capital PLC (LON:SYME) has updated the market on the status of its inventory funding as well as its relationship with institutional investors. The inventory monetisation specialist said, as planned, it has received offers, subject to contract, from a number of large, global institutional investors to provide funding, in the form of securitisation notes, to monetise more than €300mln of inventory. The company also said there has been strong demand from a number of investment funds which are individually requesting exclusivity for the securitisation notes issuance, and which are also remaining available for strategic support to the company for the next funding rounds.

Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST) has raised £1.68mln of new capital via a share placing and said it has made progress on project financing for the Baita Plai mine. The company said it has sold 1.1bn new shares at a price of 0.15p each via the placing, arranged by broker Axis Capital Markets. It said the proceeds will be used for working capital. The funds will support the company amid a temporary pause in production due to transport infrastructure problems – a safety concern over a railway bridge between the mine and the flotation plant – which as, previously announced, has delayed first concentrate sales by three to four weeks.

Sativa Group PLC (LON:SATI) said the Canadian Securities Exchange has conditionally approved the listing application for Sativa Wellness Group Inc, which combines the group’s operations with Stillcanna Inc. Resumption of trading on the CSE is expected in the next 12 days with a quotation on the AQSE Growth Market in the UK expected around the same time. Henry Lees-Buckley will be chief executive of the enlarged seed to sale business with Joseph Colliver assuming the role of chief financial officer and Anne Tew becoming corporate secretary.

Personal Group Holdings PLC (LON:PGH), a technology-enabled employee services provider, has said it will be announcing its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2020. on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Next 15 Communications Group  PLC (LON:NFC) has announced that the Capital Markets Day presentation hosted by its board on September 8, 2020, is now available to download from www.next15.com/investors/reports-results-and-presentations/ with a recording of the presentation available at https://www.next15.com/2020/09/09/next-fifteen-communications-group-plc-holds-a-capital-markets-day-focused-on-customer-trends-especially-those-that-have-accelerated-as-a-result-of-the-pandemic/. The presentation focuses on customer trends, especially those that have accelerated as a result of the pandemic, and features presentations from Agent3, Activate and Mach49.

MaxCyte, Inc. (LON:MXCT) (LON:MXCL), a global cell-based therapies and life sciences company, has announced that its CEO Doug Doerfler plans to present an overview of the company at the upcoming H.C. Wainwright & Co 22nd Annual Global Investment Virtual Conference taking place September 14-16, 2020. The presentation will be on Monday, September 14, at 4.00pm EDT  and investors can have online access via: https://wsw.com/webcast/hcw7/maxcyte/2019107

Newmark Security PLC (LON:NWT), a leading provider of electronic and physical security systems said that Marie-Claire Dwek (CEO) and Graham Feltham (FD) will provide a live investor presentation relating to the company’s Final Results for the year ended April 30, 2020, via the Investor Meet Company platform on September 18, 2020, at 12.30pm. Investors can sign up to Investor Meet Company for free and add Newmark Security PLC via: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/newmark-security-plc/register-investor

NQ Minerals PLC (AQSE:NQMI) (OTCQB:NQMLF) has announced that it will be presenting at John Tumazos Very Independent Research’s conference in New Jersey via webinar on Thursday, September 10, 2020, at 4.00pm EST ( 9.00pm UK time). Shareholders wishing to participate can register via: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7904120121056131851. The new NQ Minerals corporate presentation that will be presented is now available on the company’s website.