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Octagonal turns higher as trading subsidiary profits surge


Octagonal Plc (LON:OCT) shares were one of the strongest risers in early trading on Wednesday, up 17.5% at 1.9p after the holding company reported a sharp increase in profits from its trading subsidiary, Global Investment Strategy UK (GIS).

In a trading update for the six months to September 30, 2020, the company reported a profit for GIS of £2.08mln, a 41.2% increase year-on-year, while revenues climbed 42.7% to £4.79mln.

Octagonal chief executive and chairman John Gunn said GIS had delivered strong earnings as markets had “remained active through the summer months against traditional trends”, although the firm cautioned that the business faced an “incredibly broad range of outcomes tied to the coronavirus pandemic” with many challenges remaining.

Also on the up was Minds + Machines Group Limited (LON:MMX), which surged 21.6% higher to 4.6p after the internet domain name specialist unveiled plans for a £2.3mln share buyback programme.

The company said the buyback is part of a broader programme to deliver shareholder value and was introduced “in light of the cash generative nature of the business” and its available cash and confidence in respect of future cash flows.

Minds + Machines also reconfirmed its statements from September 30 that it is profitable and cash generative, adding that it is continuing to see “strong renewal billings” with operating cash flow for 2020 expected to exceed US$4mln, resulting in available cash at the end of the year of over US$8mln.

Proactive news headlines:

Minds + Machines Group Limited (LON:MMX) has unveiled a share buyback programme as part of what it said is a broader strategy to deliver shareholder value. The internet domain specialist said it has approved the buyback programme up to a maximum value of £2.3mln with the price paid per share to be no more than 105% of the average middle market closing price of an ordinary share for the five business days preceding the date of purchase.  In a corporate update, the company said Tony Farrow has assumed the role of interim chief executive and has worked with interim chief financial officer Bryan Disher to review the company’s billings, cash flows and overall financial position as well as the day to day operations of the group.

Tiziana Life PLC (NASDAQ:TLSA) (LON:TILS)  is preparing to embark on a clinical study of what would be the first orally-taken home treatment for Crohn’s Disease using a monoclonal antibody (mAb). It is collaborating with Parexel Biotech, a subsidiary of the contract research giant Parexel, to conduct the phase Ib/II trial of a coated pill containing Foralumab, a fully-human mAb. In doing so, researchers from Europe and the US will assess for safety, tolerability and clinical activity of escalating doses of the treatment.

Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC (LON:RDT), a leading global big data technology company, said it has won a three-year contract for the implementation and license of a Langdon Excise system. The group said the client is a major multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer based in the UK and with a significant presence in the Republic of Ireland (ROI). The system will provide a comprehensive end to end solution complying with existing legislation and public notices to allow the client to receive, manage and discharge duty suspended shipments from authorised suppliers under the Excise movement and control system (EMCS), as well as to make their own shipments of duty suspended goods to authorised destinations, it added.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) said it has signed a master service agreement with California-based Augmenta Bioworks to profile patient plasma samples and assess treatment candidates discovered using the latter’s SingleCyte and DeepGrid platforms. The first project will deploy SeroTag, Oncimmune’s oncology technology, which will be used to identify potential therapeutic antibodies that bind to human antigens found in cancer patients. The analysis will also provide insight into clinical efficacy as well as “off-target and non-specific binding” as an indicator, for example, for adverse events, Oncimmune said.

Mailbox REIT PLC said it has signed six new leases totalling 16,913 square feet of the Mailbox, the landmark central Birmingham property. The latest lettings, which were agreed above the estimated rental value, follow hard on the heels of an outline deal agreed with serviced officer provider IWG, which will run 50,000 square feet on the building’s Level-One under the Spaces co-working brand. The latter in particular is expected to help the REIT, which is listing on the International Property Securities Exchange (IPSX) next month, lift its yield from 5% to above 7% over the medium-term.

Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) told investors it is delighted with the progress of a solar power and energy storage project at the Vametco mine site in South Africa. The ‘mini-grid’ project will comprise around 3.5 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation and 4 megawatts hours of vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) energy storage. It will boost energy security for the mining operation and also demonstrate the utility of vanadium-based energy storage solutions for industrial settings.

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) has increased its stake in EnviroCopper Limited (ECL), an Australian company with an earn-in on the Kapunda gold-silver project in southern Australia. With the payment of a final A$185,000 investment tranche, completing a A$400,000 agreement, the London-listed companies interest in EnviroCopper increases to 30%. At the same time, EnviroCopper has earned its initial 50% interest in Kapunda, and, now moves into the phase that would see it earn up to 75%.

The City Pub Group PLC (LON:CPC) announced that Clive Watson, its executive chairman purchased 25,000 ordinary shares of 1p in the company on November 10, 2020 at an average price of 73.2p per ordinary share. Following this purchase, Watson is beneficially interested in 3,348,156 ordinary shares, representing approximately 3.17% 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 a notice to exercise warrants over 1,000,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the company at an exercise price of 1.0p each. Subscription monies of £10,000 have been received by Power Metal in respect of this exercise.

IQ-AI Ltd (LON:IQAI) has received a conversion notice from Free Association Books Limited (FAB), converting £40,000 convertible loan notes (CLNs) and the £13,500 associated interest, issued in November 2015, at a price of 1.5p each, into 3,566,666 IQ-AI ordinary shares. FAB is a company in which Trevor Brown, who is CEO of IQ-AI, has an interest. The company has now fully converted all of the November 2020 convertible loan notes. In addition, the company has also received a conversion notice from Brown, converting £200,000 CLNs and the £20,000 associated interest, issued in March 2018, at a price of 2p each into 11,000,000 ordinary shares. In total, Brown will indirectly or directly be issued a total of 14,566,667 ordinary shares. In addition, he and FAB have in total sold 10,450,030 ordinary shares in the company. Following the above transactions, Brown will be directly and indirectly interested in 47,557,403 IQ-AI ordinary shares, representing approximately 29.63% of the company’s enlarged issued ordinary share capital.

Brunner Investment Trust PLC (LON:BUT) has noted that the investment companies team at Kepler Trust Intelligence has produced a new piece of investment bank quality research about the trust, designed to provide a clear and comprehensive reference for long term investors. This note is free to read for UK investors via the following link: for more high-quality independent investment trust research.

Curzon Energy PLC (LON:CZN) has requested a suspension of its shares from Wednesday, November 11, 2020, as it continues to work on a potential transaction with  Sun Seven Stars Investment Group over an envisaged reverse takeover to acquire the London Critical Metals Market. Earlier this month, an exclusivity period between the parties ended though talks and due diligence work have continued.

Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) (TSX:APY) announced that at a meeting on November 10, 2020, the group’s board approved the appointment of Jason Gray as company secretary, who takes up his position with immediate effect. Gray takes over the position from Kevin Flynn, the company’s chief financial officer and executive director, who was appointed to the board in January 2020.

Ergomed PLC (LON:ERGO), a company focused on providing specialised services to the pharmaceutical industry, has announced that Richard Barfield, its chief financial officer will present at the Jefferies Virtual London Healthcare Conference at 11.00am GMT on November 17, 2020. A live webcast of the presentation will be available on Ergomed’s website via the following link:

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