Kromek rises after US$5.2mln contract extension with US agency

Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) gained 17% to 23.74p heading to close after its contract with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was extended.

Under the new deal, the detection technology specialist will receive up to US$5.2mln to further work on its mobile wide-area bio-surveillance system capable of detecting airborne pathogens.

“As the system can be vehicle-mounted or placed in high footfall areas such as hospitals and airports, the location where the sample is collected can be mapped to a GPS position,” said chief executive Arnab Basu.

2.55pm: Physiomics slips over share placing at 21% discount

Physiomics PLC (LON:PYC) lost 17% to 3.7p on Wednesday afternoon after placing 23mln shares at 3.5p each, a 21% discount to Tuesdays closing price.

The tech company, which focuses on the oncology industry, raised £828,750 to further develop its activities and boosting marketing spend.

The AIM-listed firm added it is likely to sign “a significant contract” with “a new large pharmaceutical client”.

1.40pm: Beowulf Mining higher after awarding drilling contract at Kallak South

Beowulf Mining PLC (LON:BEM) surged 18% to 5.38p after awarding a drilling contract to Kati Oy to work on a seismic model at the Kallak South iron ore project.

Shares had already been rising on Tuesday on the news that the Swedish parliament will discuss its epic quest for mining rights in Sweden.

Lars Hjälmered, a Moderate Party Member in the Swedish Parliament, asked the government to decide on any mining activity in Kallak and Laver; Beowulfs stalled iron ore project is in the Kallak region.

11am: Plant Health Care soars after positive field tests for disease control product

Plant Health Care PLC (LON:PHC) soared 61% to 10.29p in late morning thanks to positive results on field trials for one of its products.

The PREtec peptide PHC279 was tested for the control of plant diseases in corn, wheat and lettuce crops.

The AIM-listed firm is planning the launch of products based on its PREtec peptides, targeting markets worth US$5bn.

In the events space, Hyve Group PLC (LON:HYVE) jumped 19% to 19.23p after shareholders voted in favour of the proposed share consolidation and share issue.

The FTSE 250-listed company, which has taken a hard hit by the crisis having to cancel or postpone events, is looking to raise £126.6mln by issuing new shares.

Votes representing 98% of shares were for both resolutions.

10.10am: Fox Marble tanks on discounted conditional share placing

Fox Marble Holdings PLC (LON:FOX) was the top faller in mid-morning, tanking 30% to 1.98p on a share placing at a 38% discount to Tuesdays closing price.

The marble quarrying firm is looking to raise £800,000 to boost its strategy of growing factory sales in Kosovo and the greater Balkans area, as well as increasing block sales to China.

The placing is conditional to shareholders approval.

Meanwhile, Pathfinder Minerals Plc (LON:PFP) slipped 19% to 0.62p after the Mozambique Supreme Court rejected the firm's application to recognise a judgment by the English High Court.

The miner is contesting the ownership of a mineral licence, which it claims has been unlawfully removed from a subsidiary under the procurement of General Veloso, a retired senior Mozambique Government minister.

The UK court ruled that the licenses were lawfully acquired through a subsidiary and legal costs should be paid by General Veloso and his co-defendants.

8.45am: Cambridge Cognition lifted by £1mln worth of new contract wins

Cambridge Cognition Holdings PLC (LON:COG) shares advanced 10% to 27.1p in early trade on Wednesday on the back of £1mln worth of new contract wins.

The developer of digital brain health products won the new contracts to support pharmaceutical clients in delivering virtual clinical trials, with most of the cash expected to be recognised this financial year.

The AIM-listed firm said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital processes in clinical trials.

Elsewhere, AorTech International plc (LON:AOR) added 5% to 110p after being granted a US patent for its polymer Elast-Eon.

The medical devices business said it is a major step to develop products using the polymer. Animal testing on the Elast-Eon sealed graft is expected to commence in the coming weeks.

Proactive news headlines:

Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) said it has been awarded an extension to its contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to detect and identify pathogens in an urban environment. The detection technology specialist said under the new deal it will be awarded up to US$5.2mln to further work on its mobile wide-area bio-surveillance system capable of detecting airborne pathogens. The extension follows completion of the base period of the DARPA contract which was awarded in December 2018 to develop a vehicle-mounted biological threat identifier.

Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) said it has signed a deal with Path Investments PLC to sell its 75% interest in DT Ultravert (DTU), a method for hydrocarbon well stimulation and protection, as well as its nitrogen assets in Kansas. The cannabidiol (CBD) products firm said under the deal Path will issue Zoetic with 15mln new shares together with warrants to subscribe for a further 15mln Path shares at 1.5p each at any time between the first and third anniversaries of the completion of the transaction. Path has also agreed to pay Zoetic royalties equal to 5% of all gross revenues derived from the DTU technology attributable to the 75% interest in perpetuity.

Argentex Group PLC (LON:AGFX), a provider of foreign exchange services to institutions, corporates and high net worth private individuals, has announced the completion of terms for a new London headquarters as momentum behind its growth strategy gathers pace. The group said the new headquarters – located at 25 Argyll Street, London, and managed by W.RE. – will support the significant expansion of headcount across all areas as Argentex recruits to meet the growing demand from its diversified client base for its leading foreign exchange services and advice.

Supermarket Income REIT PLC (LON:SUPR) has joined forces with the British Airways pension fund to buy a 25.5% stake in one of the UKs largest portfolio of J Sainsbury PLC (LON:SBRY) stores. The 50:50 joint venture will pay vendor British Land PLC (LON:BLND) £102mln for the stake in the portfolio, which comprises 26 Sainsbury stores predominately based in London and the south-east. After the transaction, Sainsbury's will own 49% of the freeholds of the properties, insurance group Aviva 25.5% and the JV the remaining 25.5%.

ECSC Group PLC (LON:ECSC) saw its shares move higher on Wednesday as the group announced the launch of its new Nebula Cloud cybersecurity breach detection service. The AIM-listed firm said Nebula Cloud will enable users to collect, store, and use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse IT system logs and generate 24/7 alerts to potential cybersecurity breaches.

Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) has revealed it moved into a profit in 2019 after record iodine production for a second year running. In a statement covering the period for the year to December 31, 2019, the chemicals group reported revenues that rose by 22% to US$29.2mln while there was a pre-tax profit of US$600,000 compared to a loss of US$1.1mln. Net debt also fell to US$18.2mln from US$25.6mln and chief executive Tom Becker said the 2019 performance had left it in a "stronger position than ever from which to resolve its current debt situation".

Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) said its licence agreement with Bayer Animal Health has been amended as there will be increased investment in the project, in part financed by Eden's successful March fundraise. The biopesticides group will also contribute its expertise in bio-active substances to the formulation development process. The pair are working on an animal shampoo, a conditioner, a spray, and an ear flush using Edens encapsulation technology.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) (TSE:TXP) told investors it has entered into escrow for a US$20mln seven-year loan with Trinidad and Tobagos Republic Bank Limited. The loan will carry interest of 7.85%, payable quarterly in arrears, and is secured against the companys assets and subsidiaries. "We are pleased to be able to source local financing from Republic Bank, the largest lender in Trinidad and the Caribbean,” said Scott Budau, Touchstone chief financial officer in a statement.

In a separate statement after the close on Tuesday, Touchstone Exploration also announced that on May 22, 2020, certain employees exercised share options representing a total of 101,400 common shares of no par value in the company.

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) has told investors that average output from the 25%-owned Tawke production sharing contract in Kurdistan, Iraq is expected to reduce down to 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 2020, assuming new wells arent drilled to arrest the natural decline. Without new wells the 2020 exit rate is forecast to be marked at around 80,000 bopd. In the first quarter, production from Tawke amounted to 115,210 bopd and in the second it was down to 100,000 bopd, while for the remainder of 2020 it is predicted at around 90,000 bopd.

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) has now completed the second of its lockdown acquisitions, sealing the deal to acquire 6,100 US wells from Carbon Energy Corporation. It paid US$110mln gross – US$98mln net – to acquire the package of wells which yield around 9,100 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) along with associated midstream and infrastructure assets, adding 4,700 miles of mid-stream with “flow optionality and margin-enhancing opportunities”. This completion comes just a day after DGOC completed a separate but similar acquisition of assets from EQT Corporation for US$112mln, to add 9,000 boe per day from 900 wells.

Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA) said it has appointed a new nominated adviser (Nomad) and a non-executive director as well as updating on the status of its shares, which are currently suspended from trading on AIM. The company said it has appointed SP Angel as its nomad and joint broker with immediate effect, and added that qualified lawyer and experienced corporate financier Iain Rawlinson will join the board as a non-executive director. Meanwhile, the company said it will make a further announcement in due course regarding the status of CITIC Merchant Co Limiteds role and strategic options in its current mining assets, and that its shares will remain suspended pending further notification.

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