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Housebuilders subside as tighter lockdown rules may hit construction sites, house viewings


Barratt Developments PLC (LON:BDEV), Taylor Wimpey PLC (LON:TW.), Countryside Properties PLC (LON:CSP), Redrow PLC (LON:RDW), Berkeley Group PLC (LON:BKG) and other housebuilders’ shares were down between 2% and 3% on Tuesday amid news that tighter lockdown measures could see construction sites shuttered.

Under the current lockdown measures, the government has allowed construction sites and the housing market to continue working, with estate agents able to carry out house viewings and show homes remaining open.

But with the supposedly tighter ‘lockdown 3.0’ imposed a week ago not seeming to slow the rising cases of coronavirus and hospital admissions continuing, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said “it may become necessary to pause all home moves locally or nationally for a short period of time to manage the spread of coronavirus”.

Labour Party leader Kier Starmer said in a speech the previous day: “It is still possible at the moment, as I understand it, to go and view houses if you’re going to buy a house, and that wasn’t allowed last March.

“So we’re in this extraordinary situation… at least as serious, if not a more serious position than in March of last year, we’ve got less restrictions in place.”

2.27pm: Gamesys nears all-time high after playing cards right in 2020

Gamesys Group PLC (LON:GYS) shares were heading back towards their all-time highs, up 5% to 1,314p on Tuesday afternoon, on the back of a strong fourth-quarter trading update for the online bingo and casino games operator.

The FTSE 250-listed company, which was previously known as JPJ Group and before that Jackpotjoy before a merger in 2019, boasted that a performance it described as both “outstanding” and “tremendous” over the year is likely to result in underlying profits at least at the upper end of current market expectations.

Broker Peel Hunt said the group, which offers games under brands including Virgin Games, Vera & John, Heart Bingo, Monopoly Casino and Rainbow Riches Casino, With low-staking, low-spending customers, “should be relatively well-insulated against UK regulatory change, and FY21E should start to benefit from expansion in North America and a return to growth in Spain”.

10.36am: Games Workshop runs into profit-taking after divi cut

Games Workshop Group PLC (LON:GAW), down 7.7% at 10,740p, ran into profit-taking after its half-year report was published.

The shares, which hit a high of 11,680p on January 2, were sparkling performers in 2020, having started the year at around 6,400p as investors twigged that demand for its products might rise during lockdown in the absence of rival attractions.

Revenue in the six months to November 29 rose to £186.8mln from £148.4mln in the corresponding period of 2019, while profit before tax jumped to £91.6mln from £58.6mln but the dividend was cut back to 80p from 100p.

11.10am: Xtract Resources higher after finding copper mineralisation at Bushranger Project

Xtract Resources PLC (LON:XTR) rose by a fifth to 2.7p after a drilling programme update at the Bushranger Project.

Drilling of the first of three holes on the first phase of the drilling programme at the Racecourse Mineral Resource on the Bushranger Project has progressed to a depth of 607 metres (m) in drill hole BRDD-20-001.

Significant copper mineralisation commenced in the hole at a depth of 110m and continues to the current depth of the drill hole at 607m.

10.05am: PetroTal wanted as production is ramped up in Peru

PetroTal Corp (LON:PTAL) jumped 6.5% to 16.5p after it told investors about an increase in output from Petroperu’s Northern Oil Pipeline (ONP) operations.

Since January 7, 2021, oil production has increased to an average of 10,025 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from roughly 9,500 barrels, with optimisation continuing.

The company added it has now signed an agreement for a second pilot shipment through Brazil in February 2021 of up to 220,000 barrels of oil. The increased volume of this shipment over the initial pilot export is expected to improve overall economics and lead towards the establishment of regular exports, complementing sales into the ONP and to the Iquitos refinery.

9.10am: Appreciate Group higher after record December

Appreciate Group PLC (LON:APP), up 5.9% at 34.4p was feeling the love on early Tuesday morning after it said the final quarter of 2020 was a strong one.

The company behind said it saw its busiest ever month in December, with billings up 42% year-on-year.

The group said it expects to deliver a full-year performance for the year ending March 31, 2021, at least in line with the mid-range scenario as set out in its 2020 annual report and accounts, although the latest coronavirus lockdown measures may delay some revenue and profit until customers have more options to redeem their products.

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAC), up 24% at 5.6p, was the top riser in London after it announced a potential partnership with Portuguese energy group Galp

Galp Energia intends to secure a 10% shareholding in Savannah’s Portuguese subsidiaries for US$6.4mln cash. The cash will be used to further Savannah’s progress towards its definitive feasibility study of the Mina do Barroso lithium project in northern Portugal.

Galp and Savannah are set to evaluate, under exclusive terms, an off-take agreement for up to 100,000 tonnes a year of lithium concentrate from Mina do Barroso equating to about half of the project’s annual production.

Proactive news headlines:

Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) has inked an agreement with Galp for a proposed partnership in the lithium field around the Mina do Barroso mining project in northern Portugal. The heads of agreement with the major Portuguese energy group envisages Galp taking a 10% stake in Savannah’s subsidiary via a US$6.4mln investment, to support a definitive feasibility study. Together the partners intend to work on a possible offtake agreement for up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of lithium concentrate from Mina do Barroso. This would represent around 50% of the mine’s expected output.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) has said it produced 18,645 ounces of gold at its 50%-owned Kiziltepe mine during the year to December 2020, exceeding guidance by 3.5%. As at the end of 2020, the group noted the mine had produced a total of 84,200 ounces of gold and 915,233 ounces of silver, recording US$134 million in revenue since operations commenced in early 2017. Mining operations are continuing at Arzu North and Derya, with plans to expand these open-pit proceeding. A processing plant expansion is also underway, with construction due to be completed in the second half of this year.

CentralNic Group PLC (LON:CNIC) said it has acquired French firm SafeBrands, a provider of online brand protection software and corporate internet services, for up to €3.6mln (£3.2mln) in cash. The internet domain names specialist said €3mln (£2.7mln) of the purchase price has been paid upfront, with the remaining €600,000 (££538,213) to be paid subject to SafeBrands meeting agreed financial objectives for the 2020 financial year. CentralNic noted that SafeBrands’ client list includes some leading French brands and it is “ideally positioned” to take advantage of the brand protection, domain name system (DNS) and hosting markets which it said are “all growing rapidly as [COVID-19] has accelerated the digitisation of business”.

Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLV) said profits from its financial division rose by 26% in 2020 while it also hit its target of 200 advisers in the division. The lettings specialist established its financial arm in 2017 with the acquisition of Brook Financial, which had 32 advisers at the time. In 2018, it acquired MAB (Glos) with 88 advisers but since then the division has grown organically to reach 202 advisers at the year-end, Belvoir said.

KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) said it expects to report a “significant improved” adjusted EBITDA loss for its 2020 financial year and highlighted some contracts expected to be signed in early 2021. In a trading update for the year to December 31, 2020, the investment software firm forecast an adjusted EBITDA loss for the year of £0.1mln, narrowed from £3.1mln in 2019, while revenues are expected to rise to £4.6mln from £4.1mln. The company also said it has a near-term pipeline of deals worth £0.5mln of annual recurring revenue (ARR) which are in final negotiations and expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2021.

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) has said it expects revenue and earnings for 2020 to be ahead of current market expectations. The company pointed out that it had seen a strong recovery in the second half of the year in most parts of its business as many of its customers returned to something close to normal trading patterns. Franchise Brands said that although 2021 starts with a higher level of lockdown restrictions than those in place for most of the second half of 2020, the company is now well versed in mitigating the impact on its business.

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) said it boosted production at its Kareevlei mine in South Africa during the 2020 full year to 15,371 carats, up from the 14,033 produced in 2019. Processed tonnes increased by 25% compared with the previous year, despite the mine being closed due to the coronavirus for a period of 50 days starting on March 24, 2020. Assuming a constant run rate during the period of closure, the increase over the year would have been approximately 45%. 

Curtis Banks Group PLC (LON:CBP), a specialist in self-invested pension plans (SIPP), said it delivered a robust trading performance throughout 2020. Strategically, the group completed the acquisitions of Talbot and Muir, a high-quality provider of SIPP and small self-administered pension schemes, and Dunstan Thomas, a leading fintech provider, and announced a new fee-charging structure for clients. In a brief trading update, the firm said these initiatives will reduce the proportional contribution of interest income to total revenue and improve the overall quality and diversity of earnings across the group.

Bahamas Petroleum Company PLC (LON:BPC) has exercised a put option to raise a further £3.75mln, as a result of shares being issued, to support the ongoing Perseverance well programme. A total of 187.5mln new shares were issued at a price of 2p each. It means that, if remaining available funding sources are drawn in full, the company will complete its funding strategy with an aggregate of US$72mln raised for Perseverance – a 770mln barrel exploration target. Bahamas Petroleum highlighted that it represents adequate funding for the well plus an extensive 2021 work programme across the company’s suite of production, appraisal and development assets.

Rosslyn Data Technologies’ PLC (LON:RDT) pipeline of new opportunities is “healthy” and the values of potential contracts is “larger than we have done in the past”, according to chief executive Roger Bullen. He was providing an update on the outlook for the company alongside interim results. While there was a cautionary line on the timing of new business – the coronavirus pandemic and deal size being the main drags – the Rosslyn CEO was upbeat on prospects for the year.

BATM Advanced Communication Ltd (LON:BVC) (TASE: BVC) said it has entered into an option agreement to sell its NGSoft software and digital services business for US$33mln. The putative buyer is Aztek Technologies, an Israeli cloud services specialist that is part of SKY Fund, a private equity group. BATM said the deal would allow the company to focus on its areas of expertise – networking, cyber and biomedical – while the funds from the disposal would be used to grow the core businesses.

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) has updated on the maiden drill programme targeting the discovery of nickel and Platinum group metals at the Haneti project in Tanzania. Power Metal holds a 35% ownership interest in Haneti, with 65% held by Katoro Gold PLC (LON:KAT). “The Haneti drill programme is progressing well, with approaching 50% of the planned 2,000 metres of rotary air blast drilling now complete,” said Power Metals chief executive Paul Johnson in a statement.

Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) said its partially-owned Minto copper mine in Canada produced 5,143 wet metric tonnes of concentrate during the fourth quarter of 2020. A total of 24,646 wet metric tonnes of concentrate were produced during 2020, up from the 7,167 wet metric tonnes produced in 2019. The group also noted that payments of US$17.5mln were received by Minto from Sumitomo during the fourth quarter of 2020. During 2020 payments of US$64.3mln were received by Minto from Sumitomo.

Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) has confirmed a strong quarter in its South African Platinum and chrome mining operation. The company revealed that 1,234 tonnes of reef was mined in the quarter ended December 31, 2020, down 12.2% on the preceding quarter, but, against the year-on-year comparative volumes, up 8% for the quarter. The group produced 39,000 ounces of 6E Platinum Group Metals (PGMs), marking a 14% improvement against the year-on-year comparison.

Arix Bioscience PLC (LON:ARIX), a global venture capital company focused on investing in and building breakthrough biotech companies has noted that its portfolio company, Harpoon Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HARP), has announced the closing of its underwritten public offering of 6,764,704 shares of its common stock, which includes 882,352 shares sold upon the underwriters’ full exercise of their option to purchase additional shares, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $115.0mln, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses payable by Harpoon Therapeutics. Following the offering, Arix retains a stake of 6.9% in Harpoon, amounting to 2,208,667 shares of common stock.

Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI), the UK property investment company, has announced that, after nearly seven years of service, Professor Barry Gilbertson will retire as senior independent non-executive director of the company with effect from January 1, 2021, as part of its board succession plan. The group added that Matthew Thorne, currently a non-executive director of the company and chair of its Audit and Risk Committee, has been appointed senior independent director and that David Hunter, currently chair of the company, has been appointed as Chair of the company’s Remuneration and Management Engagement Committees.  The company said that its board has in place a succession plan under which the process to appoint a further non-executive director is underway. The REIT noted that Mattioli Woods PLC, owner of Custodian Capital Limited, the company’s discretionary investment manager, is keen to capitalise on Gilbertson’s considerable experience and understanding of real estate and he will take on the role of executive chairman of Custodian Capital Limited with effect from January 1, 2021. Gilbertson has therefore decided to retire from the company’s board to ensure it retains a strong majority of independent directors.

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL) (OTCQX:ANPCY), a world-leading liquid biopsy company, announced that following a formal tender process, it has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as its auditor for the Company and its subsidiaries for the financial year ended December 31, 2020. Accordingly, RSM UK Audit has resigned as the company’s and subsidiaries auditor and, as required by Section 519 of the Companies Act 2006, has deposited a statement with the company confirming that there are no circumstances in connection with its resignation that should be brought to the attention of the members or creditors of the company.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI), a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skincare has announced the appointment of Cenkos Securities as its sole broker with immediate effect.

APQ Global Limited (LON:APQ), an emerging markets growth company based in Guernsey, said it has issued a total of 26,578 ordinary shares of no par value in the capital of the company to employees as part of the 2018 management share-based compensation scheme, including Bart Turtelboom, its chief executive officer who has received 23,366 ordinary shares. The price used in calculating the number of shares awarded under the 2018 Scheme was the book value per share as at December 31, 2017, of 128.11 US cents. Following this issue, Turtelboom is interested in 22,285,391 APQ ordinary shares representing 28.43% of the company’s issued share capital.

Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) the AIM-listed metals exploration and development company said it has received notices to exercise warrants over 8,750,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at an exercise price of 0.7p per ordinary share. Subscription monies of £61,250 have been received by Power Metal in respect of these exercises.

Live Company Group PLC (LON:LVCG) has announced that its annual general meeting is to be held on January 29, 2021, at 2.30pm at 14 Coach & Horses Yard, Mayfair, London W1S 2EJ. As a result of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and the UK Government’s restrictions, AGM will be run as a closed meeting. Shareholders will not be permitted to attend the AGM in person and are strongly encouraged to submit their proxy in advance of the meeting to ensure that their votes are registered.

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA) (LON:TILS), a biotechnology company focused on innovative therapeutics for oncology, inflammation, and infectious diseases has announced that it is participating in the JPMorgan 39th Annual Healthcare Conference 2021. Dr Kunwar Shailubhai, CEO and CSO of Tiziana Life Sciences, commented: “I look forward to sharing our exciting story with conference attendees. With topline data from our COVID-19 trial expected this month, multiple Phase 2 trial launches expected in 2021, and the potential application of Foralumab in a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases in the longer-term, we are well-positioned to achieve a series of important milestones that can provide a positive and lasting impact on our valuation in the months and quarters ahead.” The JPMorgan Health Community Conference was created for health leaders and transformers who are working to change the current paradigms of health and wellness. For more information and to view the latest investor presentation, investors can use the following links: or

Compass Group accused of profiteering over school meals packages

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