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Amphion Innovations gets a boost from Polarean's progress

Some of the main news-driven risers and fallers in London on Thursday...

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Amphion holds a 21.7% stake in Polarean

You may remember from earlier that Polarean Imaging PLC (LON:POLX) got a little boost from it kicking off a phase III trial of its hyperpolarised 129-Xenon (129Xe) gas magnetic resonance imaging scanning technology.

Well so too has Amphion Innovations Plc (LON:AMP), which owns just over a fifth of the shares. Shares in the life sciences investors have jumped 20% to 0.9p.

As a reminder, Polarean has developed a system that can better spot the early signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It claims it is more accurate and less harmful than current methods.

Polarean’s tech is going head-to-head against a similar, approved piece of kit and will be evaluating two patient populations; candidate patients for lung lobe resection and lung transplant procedures.

Ryanair soars on pilots' union deal

Shares in Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA) jumped on Thursday after the budget airline reached an agreement with the trade union representing its Irish pilots.

Forsa, the pilot’s union, said the agreement would go to ballot with a recommendation of acceptance after a gruelling 22-hour negotiation session ended early on Thursday morning.

The negotiations with around 350 of Ryanair’s 4,000 pilots have been among the most difficult as the no-frills airline continues to try and quell protests by its staff across Europe.

Earlier this month Ryanair was forced to ground around 15% of its flights after a coordinated 24-hour strike over pay disputes led to pilot pickets in Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

The strikes have also taken their toll of the company’s shares, which have fallen around 20% since late May. They are up today though, climbing almost 6% to €13.92.

Botswana Diamonds sparkles on Zimbabwe progress

Botswana Diamonds PLC (LON:BOD) is another having a belter this afternoon.

The explorer of, well, diamonds is up 25% to 1.2p after its potential partner in Zimbabwe, Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST), was awarded exclusive access to a diamond concession area in the Marange Diamond Fields.

Vast, which is also up 6.5% to 0.66p, will now carry out due diligence at the project with a view to concluding a joint venture agreement, the principal terms of which have already been agreed.

The 15km² Heritage Concession is close to an area of Vast's historic Marange Diamond Fields claim and is understood to be an extension of the same geological system.

“I am delighted that Vast has been awarded this exclusive access to part of the famous Marange diamond fields and we look forward working with them to realise the full potential of this area and others as they begin to emerge with Zimbabwe opening for business,” said Botswana chairman John Teeling.

Infrastructure India extends bridging loan once again

Infrastructure India PLC (LON:IIP) has increased it bridging loan once again, this time by another US$3mln.

Today’s hike takes the total loan, which comes with interest of 12% a year, to US$43.4mln.

The fund which, funnily enough, invests in Indian infrastructure projects, has upped the bridging loan seven times before. It started life as an US$8mln unsecured bridging loan last summer.

The new funds will enable Infrastructure India to pay its bills before it completes a US$125mln placing which shareholders will hopefully vote through tomorrow. Should they do just that, the plan is to immediately repay the loan. Shares fell 17.6% to 6.1p.

ThinkSmart sells subsidiary for A$19mln

ThinkSmart Limited (LON:TSL) shares soared in late-morning trading Thursday after the firm sold 90% of subsidiary ClearPay to Australian company Afterpay Touch Group Limited (ASX:APT).

The digital payments group sold the 90% stake in ClearPay for 1mln shares in Afterpay, valued at A$18.55mln.

ThinkSmart intends to dispose of the shares received “over the medium term” while retaining an ongoing investment in Afterpay, with investors to be rewarded with a special dividend and capital return.

In a note to clients, analysts at City broker FinnCap said that the sale strengthened ThinkSmart’s balance sheet while offering the possibility of “at least £11mln of value within 12-18 months through its residual holding”.

ThinkSmart shares were up 71.4% at 15p.

Polarean Imaging nudges higher as it kicks off phase III trial

Polarean Imaging PLC (LON:POLX) nudged higher after the healthcare group kicked off a phase III trial of its hyperpolarised 129-Xenon (129Xe) gas magnetic resonance imaging scanning technology.

The AIM-quoted firm, which joined AIM earlier this year, has developed a system that can better spot the early signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It claims it is more accurate and less harmful than current methods.

Polarean’s tech is going head-to-head against a similar, approved piece of kit and will be evaluating two patient populations; candidate patients for lung lobe resection and lung transplant procedures.

“The entire company is thrilled to have initiated our phase III trial, after all the hard work of preparation,” said chief executive Richard Hullihen. Shares are up 2% to 15.3p.

Surprise CFO departure at Rosenblatt

City law firm Rosenblatt Group PLC (LON:RBGP) is trying to dig itself out of trouble after its chief financial officer stepped down for personal reasons.

Patrick Firebrace, who helped bring Rosenblatt onto AIM earlier this year, will officially depart next week.

He will be replaced by former Immedia Group PLC (LON:IME) finance director Robert Parker on an interim basis until a permanent successor is found. Shares dipped almost 10% to 97p.

Rough ride for restaurants over?

It’s been a rough ride for Franco Manca owner Fulham Shore PLC (LON:FUL) and most of the restaurant industry, truth be told, over the past year or so.

A combination of rising competition, falling high street footfall, and squeezed household incomes has left many restaurant chains nursing losses and forced them to shut stores.

Fulham Shore was one of those to warn on the industry’s outlook, but things seem to have turned a corner, with the group, which also owns The Real Greek, reporting an “encouraging” increase in revenue in the first half of its financial year. Shares rose 5.7% to 12p.

 

Proactive news headlines 

Stobart Group Ltd (LON:STOB) has reshuffled its board, as the Southend Airport owner had promised after seeing off a shareholder rebellion at last month’s annual general meeting. 

Anglo Pacific Group PLC (LON:APF) has reported increased earnings in the first half of its financial year, boosted by a record showing from its Maracás Menchen mine in Brazil. 

The latest definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Thor Mining PLC’s (LON:THR) Molyhil project in Australia projects revenue in excess of A$500mln over seven years. 

Shefa Yamim ATM (LON:SEFA) has started talks with jewellery designers over a branded range. The Israel-focused gemstone miner wants to build a vertically integrated exploration, development, mining, design and marketing business. 

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) revealed on Thursday that is in a strong financial position to advance its projects. The oil and gas company ended the first six months of the year debt free with cash of US$7.7mln. 

Aminex plc (LON:AEX) told investors that it is preparing for the drilling of the Chikumbi-1 (CH-1) well in Tanzania.It will be a follow-up to the successful wells of the Ntorya project, with CH-1 located up-dip from both the Ntorya-1 and Ntorya-2 wells. 

United Oil & Gas Plc (LON:UOG) told investors that talks with potential partners can now start, as its new North Sea asset awards have now been confirmed. “Confirmation of the award enables us to pursue farm-out discussions with potential partners with whom we can work to take these licences forward,” said Brian Larkin, United chief executive. 

Block Energy Plc (LON:BLOE) told investors that it is on-track for the start of a phase three work programme which will aim to scale up production in Georgia. The programme, due to start in the near-term, will target production growth up to 900 barrels of oil per day within 18 to 24 months. 

Amur Minerals Corp. (LON:AMC) has issued 3,766,649 new ordinary shares of no par value of the company to Cuart Investments PCC Ltd and YA II PN Ltd in settlement of US$165,101 of principal and accrued interest.

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