News Column

UK WINNERS & LOSERS: Catlin Leads FTSE 350 Risers, Gold Miners Jump

August 8, 2014



LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices midday Friday.

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FTSE 100 - WINNERS

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Fresnillo, up 3.9%. The gold miner has seen its shares jump on the back of an increase in the gold price. The precious metal currently trades close to its highest level for three weeks at USD1,317.45 per ounce as rising geopolitical tension boosts investor appetite for safe-haven assets, such as gold. Global markets barely had time to digest the news that Russia has banned all food imports from countries involved with the sanctions against it, before sentiment took another knock when the US authorised airstrikes in Iraq which, if necessary, will attempt to stop the progress of Islamic militants ins the north of the country.

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FTSE 250 - WINNERS

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Catlin Group, up 4.9%. The property/casualty insurer and reinsurer said its first-half pretax profit more than doubled, boosted by a significant jump in net investment revenue and an improved underwriting performance. It said it made a USD318.0 million pretax profit in the six months to end-June, compared with USD145.0 million in the corresponding period last year. Its measure of net underwriting contribution increased to USD536.0 million from USD441.0 million, driven by its non-London underwriting hubs, which made up more of the total than at the same stage last year. The improved underwriting contribution, combined with a jump in net investment return to USD142.0 million from USD9.0 million, driven by an improved performance from the fixed income portfolio as well as "continued strong performance" from other investment assets, contributed to a 14% increase in revenue to USD2.19 million. Catlin has reported a "strong set of interim results," says Eamonn Flanagan, an analyst at Shore Capital. The analyst believes that Catlin's shares will benefit from investor relief that the company's expected claims from July losses within aviation-related areas should not reach more than USD50 million.



Polymetal International, up 2%. The gold, silver and copper-mining exploration and production company's shares have risen on the back of the increased price of gold.

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FTSE 250 - LOSERS

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Henderson Group, down 3.3%. The investment manager has extended its recent decline, having fallen sharply on Thursday. The company ended the day among the biggest fallers in the FTSE 250 Thursday after it reported a decline in assets under management over the course of the second quarter, as the creation of a 40%-owned real estate joint venture with IAA-CREF and the additional stake it took in 90 West came into effect.



AMEC, down 1.9%. The consultancy, engineering and project management services supplier continues to fall, having closed down 0.6% Thursday after it reported that its first-half pretax profit declined as revenue was hit by the strength of the sterling and the continued slow down of operations in conventional oil and gas. Additionally, UBS has cut its price target on the company to 1,100 pence from 1,190p, while Deutsche Bank has lowered its target to 1,350p from 1,400p. Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, has increased its price target to 1,242p from 1,235p.

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AIM ALL-SHARE - WINNERS

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Botswana Diamonds, up 11%. The company said a drilling programme will start at its Orapa prospect in Botswana in the third week of September. It said two specific targets will be drilled at its PL117/2011 prospecting licence, AN117/1 and AN117/2, which are both in the northern portion of the 2.9 square kilometre block. The targets, identified through recent work by joint venture Sunland Minerals, a partnership between Botswana Diamonds and Alrosa-Nyurba OJSC, are prospective for the discovery of kimberlite bodies. The group also said an extensive work programme is being finalised for the new licences, and an enlarged team from Alrosa is due to join the existing Botswana Diamonds team at the site in September.



Rose Petroleum, up 6.8%. The company has promoted John Blair to be chief executive of its US oil and gas assets, and appointed him as director of oil and gas on its board. Geologist Blair has over 27 years of experience in the upstream oil & gas industry, the company said, including as senior vice president at consulting firm Knowledge Reservoir for three years until 2013, where he analysed over 150 unconventional shale resource plays worldwide for numerous clients including Statoil, Pemex, Marubeni, Itochu, and Maersk. He has also founded three private independent US oil & gas companies and has experience in both conventional and unconventional oil & gas exploration and development.



SeaEnergy, up 6.7%. The company said its GOSeaEnergy Ship Management joint venture has this week won two further ship management contracts. The joint venture will take over management of the Go Pegasus DP2 anchor handler, owned by Singapore-based Otto Marine, and the Go Electra DP2 multi-purpose support vessel, owned by RY Offshore. The joint venture was created in June as a partnership between the offshore energy services firm's SeaEnergy Ship Management and Go Offshore (Asia), a Singapore-based shipping company.



MediaZest, up 5.3%. The advertising company said it has won a slew of new contracts and said it expects to announce further new business wins before the close of the half year. It said it has won several new service contracts in the first half of its fiscal year, including a three-year deal with an existing client to rationalise estate costs. The company reported that total new service contract revenue won will contribute more than GBP85,000 to the current half year, which ends at the end of September. In its fiscal second quarter, the group said it is providing development and installation services on four new projects with combined initial revenue of GBP320,000 and scope to win further work in the future.

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AIM ALL-SHARE - LOSERS

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African Potash, off 14%. The company has secured up to USD3.8 million in financing by issuing zero-coupon convertible securities to an institutional investment fund managed by New York-based alternative asset manager Bergen Asset Management LLC. It said the investment will provide capital and support its future exploration programmes. The convertible securities will be issued in four tranches to Bergen Opportunity Fund LP, with the initial tranche, to be issued shortly, having a nominal value of USD830,000. African Potash said it has issued 1.5 million shares to Bergen as a commencement fee, and has also issued 4.8 million shares under the convertible securities issuance deed.



Thor Mining, down 7.7%. The gold focused developer said Crocodile Gold Australia Operations has given the firm notice that it will not be treating Spring Hill gold ore. The companies had signed a memorandum of understanding in April 2013, but Crocodile has withdrawn because it now thinks it won't have enough capacity at its Union Reefs processing operation in Australia'sNorthern Territory to commit to toll treatment for Thor and Western Desert Resources Ltd, Thor's joint venture partner in the Spring Hill project. Thor is looking for alternatives.

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By Neil Thakrar; neilthakrar@alliancenews.com






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Source: Alliance News


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