Independent Oil & Gas PLC flows higher as North Sea projects reach milestone

Shares in () flowed 37% higher on Wednesday as its two North Sea projects reached a long awaited milestone.

In a statement, IOG revealed that it had submitted a field development plan (FDP) to the UK Oil and Gas Authority for the Blythe and Elgood fields, part of the company’s production hub strategy.

Both wholly-owned fields are located in the vicinity of existing oil and gas infrastructure as well as other IOG held assets. Previously, the junior oiler had submitted a FDP for Blythe only.

“This is a major step forward from the single-field draft submission in December 2016,” said Mark Routh, IOG chief executive.

Elsewhere, natural resources investor Primorus Investments PLC (LON:PRIM) was flying high this  afternoon, but nobody could figure out why…

Even the management couldn’t fathom the 40% rise in the share price as it was forced to issue a statement explaining that “it knows no reason for this price movement”.

Something has obviously caused investors to pile in, so answers on the back of a post card please.

I know you’re all baying for blood but there weren’t too many decent losers this afternoon, so instead we’ll go with plc (), which is up 11.5% after to 203.8p after it announced it had a deal in place to sell off its transportation sensing and control division.

 AVX Corporation has agreed to buy out the business for £118.8mln – half of TT’s current market cap.

“Following the disposal, TT will be a higher margin, higher quality business, with an improved geographic and market balance,” said chief executive Richard Tyson.

“We will continue to focus on structural growth markets where there is increasing electronic content. Having improved our financial capacity, we will continue our proven strategy of deploying our resources to enhance TT’s potential.”

1.45pm…Advanced Onco surges on new £3.9mln loan and news that it won’t draw further from Bracknor facility

PLC () has struggled of late, but news that a significant shareholder, along with a few other investors, had made a £3.9mln loan available to the company has put a rocket in the share price.

As well as representing an endorsement from major backer AB Segulah, the facility also means that the proton therapy specialist will not have to draw further on its Bracknor convertible loan.

The new loan will have a two-year maturity and a 12% per annum rolled-up interest rate.

Segulah will be issued 15.6 million warrants with a strike price of 25p exercisable at any time over the next five years.

The news sent AVO shares flying by 70% to 16.75p.

Another small cap on the run today is () after it agreed to fork out US$85mln for subsidiary Dharmacon.

Horizon said the deal will propel it to the front of human gene technology and will also double its current revenues.

Dharmacon is the acknowledged global leader in cell behaviour or RNAi products and is growing rapidly in gene editing, Horizon’s area of expertise.

The enlarged group is expected to have a market share of approximately 4% in a market expected to be worth £1.6bn in 2018, though global demand for gene editing is tipped to grow at more than 30% for years.

Moving the other way was plc (), operator of the UK’s largest power station in North Yorkshire, after it swung to a pre-tax loss in the first half as the value of its coal assets fell.

Shares fell 3.3% to 333p in early afternoon trading after the company reported a pre-tax loss of £83mln in the six months ended 30 June, compared to a profit of £184mln the corresponding period a year ago.

The FTSE 250-listed firm blamed the loss on a depreciation of its coal assets and a £65mln loss from currency hedging.

10am…The People’s Operator pops as Wikipedia founder steps down as chairman

Shares in The People’s Operator PLC () popped on Wednesday morning after the AIM-quoted group announced that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is stepping down as non-executive chairman.

He has been replaced by Michael Butler, although he has offered to stay on as a non-executive director.

TPOP, which offers mobile phone contracts with a charitable kicker, also unveiled a host of other board changes this morning, including the departure of co-founder and current chief executive Mark Epstein.

Investors seemed to like the executive merry-go-round though, with shares zipping 10% higher to 3.25p.

It might be a little unfair to suggest that the rise was solely down to ex-directors stepping down; there was also a brief line about revenues and subscribers, both of which are on the rise.

PLC () was another making gains on the junior market after it disclosed a “significant contract win” this morning.

Often these wins turn out to be not so “significant”, but – which provides software and services for the traffic data and transportation industry – told investors it had secured a multi-million contract with a major UK rail operator. Not too bad for a sub-£100mln company.

Management were pretty upbeat too, stating: “Given the size and materiality of the contract, the award represents a step change in ‘ ability to tender for and win major technology projects and should pave the way for similar sales in the future with other transport operators both within the UK and abroad.”

That got the market excited, with shares adding almost 11% to 395p.

It wasn’t such good news for Group PLC (), which took a dive after it reported a slowdown in orders at the start of its financial year.

The defence technology group said orders in its Europe, Middle East and Asia division had been slower than expected, with several customers delaying or deferring their contract award decisions.

Revenues from the division had been “similar” to those achieved in the same period of last year.

Investors didn’t appear to be convinced by the “dynamic” trading environment though, with the share price tumbling by 9% to 250p.

Proactive News Headlines:

Horizon Discovery PLC (LON:HZD) is to more than double its revenues through the acquisition of General Electric subsidiary Dharmacon, a deal that will propel it to the front rank of human gene technology. Dharmacon is the acknowledged global leader in cell behaviour or RNAi products and is growing rapidly in gene editing, Horizon’s area of expertise.

The big day has arrived for PCF Group Plc (LON:PCF), which has launched PCF Bank and is ready to start taking retail deposits after receiving green lights from the regulators.

Banking and wealth management software provider Lombard Risk Management plc (LON:LRM) is encouraged by its pipeline of new business prospects, and expects revenues in the current financial year (to end-March 2018) to be weighted to the second half, as per usual.

The order book at advanced materials group Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) is at a record level, the company revealed, as it said total income for the year just ended is expected to be in line with market expectations. Haydale BP was in April.

Cello Group plc (LON:CLL) has told investors it enjoyed a “good” first half of 2017 as it made strides in both its Health and Signal businesses.

The momentum built in recent years by pizza delivery outfit DP Poland Plc (LON:DPP) is showing no signs of stopping, with first half sales jumping once again. Total system sales, which includes the ten new stores opened so far this year, increased by 50% year-on-year to PLN27.5mln (H1 2016: PLN18mln) for the six months to 30 June.

Coming mid-way through a thoroughly communicated hiatus in the Icewine-2 well programme, 88 Energy Ltd’s (LON:88E, ASX:88E) quarterly activity report was largely an obligatory box-ticking exercise – nonetheless, the explorer was able to remind investors of its notable cash buffer. 88 Energy, which has seen its shares slump in recent weeks, had some A$31.6mln of cash at the end of June.

Hurricane Energy PLC (LON:HUR) is to bank another US$10mln as Cenkos Securities and Stifel Nicolaus have taken up options to issue more bonds. The brokers ran Hurricane’s recent US$220mln bond issue, and they had a provision for a further US$10mln to be issued.

Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) expects to deploy a field development at the Tendrara project using regularly spaced horizontal wells, of similar design to the recently drilled TE-7 well. In a statement, the company gave investors details of new analysis of  theTE-7 well, onshore Morocco, based on newly retrieved pressure build-up data.

TLOU Energy Limited (LON:TLOU) has made good progress over the last quarter says house broker Shore Capital. A contract for a 250km seismic survey that starts this quarter and  a mining licence application at the Lesedi CBM-to-power project in Botswana were the highlights.

Shanta Gold PLC (LON:SHG) has started to review its cost base in Tanzania after recent changes to the finance and mining laws in the country. As a result, Shanta expects that its next gold shipment will see royalty rates increase to 6% from 4%, while a 1% clearing fee has already implemented.

Petropavlovsk PLC (LON:POG) has appointed Sergey Ermolenko as its acting chief executive officer with immediate effect, replacing Pavel Maslovskiy, who resigned yesterday. Ermolenko, who is currently general director of management company Petropavlovsk, was CEO of from December 2011 to November 2014 when Maslovskiy was serving as a Russian senator.

Obtala Limited (LON:OBT), the agricultural and forestry company which recently completed the US$14.6mln acquisition of African forestry business, WoodBois International has issued a positive update on its operations for the second quarter of 2017.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP), the commercial passenger aircraft leasing company, said that Mandarin Airlines has approved the selection from Avation and ATR of a series of aircraft for lease and purchase. The company has now placed all 2017 deliveries in its order book, and has six further new ATR 72 aircraft on order for delivery in 2018 and 2019 and 27 options extending further forwards.

Capital Network has issued a research note on BOS GLOBAL Holdings PLC, reviewing the roadmap for4 the group and arguing that “progress is very much in line with our previous view.”

Capital Network has issued a research note on Medgold Resources Corp (CVE:MED) which concludes that the company “is run by a highly experienced management team with a successful track record of building value in resource companies.”

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