Metals hold relatively steady as China government debt climbs on economic support
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below
Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA LN) – Site work at the Clogau mine temporarily deferred pending permit approvals
Anglo Asian Mining* (AAZ LN) – Potential to produce 20-25,000tpa of copper from Garadag
Bluejay Mining* (JAY LN) – Results from Enonkoski joint venture in Finland with Rio Tinto show nickel, copper and cobalt grade
Gemfields Group (GEM LN) – March auction yields $21m in sales
Oriole Resources* (ORR LN) – Mbe gold samples confirm 3km target. Multi-element analysis awaited on potential lithium samples
Savannah Resources* (SAV LN ) – BUY, 17.9p – Parish Council case extinguished
Scotgold Resources (SGZ LBN) – Mining challenges at Cononish
IGTV: 23/03/23: Mining in a banking crisis – how does it work? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiL9Ea88o-w
VOX Markets Podcast: 24/03/2023: https://audioboom.com/posts/8269467-john-meyer-why-gold-is-rallying-plus-atlantic-lithium-celsius-resources
- 10/03/2023: https://audioboom.com/posts/8261642-john-meyer-is-china-s-growth-ambitions-believable-plus-amur-atlantic-lithium-cornish-metals
ii Interactive Investor: Battery Metals – Four Stocks – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fwy6PXUe6s&t=5s
- Battery Metals Market – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfdOAUO46tw&t=3s
- Gold – Four Companies – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mVzyw4heDQ&t=3s
*SP Angel almost invariably acts as nomad or broker or nomad and broker to companies mentioned in the above videos and podcasts. We speak more about these companies as we have a good understanding of their business and can talk with a greater degree of confidence. As ever, however, it should be noted that our views do not take into account the circumstances and needs of any particular investor or investor type. So enjoy the talks, but please do your own research, including other companies not mentioned by us but operating in the same areas, and get professional advice where appropriate.
|Dow Jones Industrials||+0.41%||at||32,238|
|HK Hang Seng||-1.30%||at||19,657|
US – Private sector growth climbed in March to the quickest since May/22 beating market estimates as new orders returned to growth driven by a step up in demand from the services sector.
- Growth was driven by the services sector with manufacturing remaining in a contractionary territory, albeit, the rate of declines slowed to the slowest in six months.
- Export orders contracted for the tenth consecutive month as overseas demand continued to struggle, although, the pace of a contraction was only marginal and the softest seen over the past ten months.
- Selling prices growth accelerated at the end of the first quarter while faster employment growth led to higher wage bills.
- Business outlook slipped to a three month low, further below the survey’s long run average on the back of inflationary pressures, uncertainty in the financial sector and higher interest rates.
- Preliminary Manufacturing PMI: 49.3 v 47.3 February and 47.0 est.
Preliminary Services PMI: 53.8 v 50.6 February and 50.3 est.
- Preliminary Composite PMI:53.3 v 50.1 February and 49.5 est.
SVB, Silicon Valley Bank to be bought by First Citizens BancShares, a 125-year-old family-owned regional bank
- First Citizens will buy most of SVB from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (The Times).
- Assets include $110bn, deposits of $56bn and about $72bn of SVB loans at a discount of $16.5bn.
China – Central government new debt climbs at the fastest pace on record as authorities raise spending to support the economy, Bloomberg.
- Net sovereign bonds sold this quarter (ie excluding maturing ones) hit CNY 277bn ($40bn), the highest level for the same period since 1997.
- New debt should help fund budget deficits as well as help provinces deal with increasing debt burdens.
- Industrial profits plunged 22.9% in the first two months of the year reflecting Covid-related disruptions weighing on demand and prices.
- This compares to a 4% decline for the full prior year.
- Industrial production was up 2.4%yoy during the January and February period.
- “Even though industrial production rebounded, market demand hadn’t recovered completely,” the National Bureau of Statistics said.
Germany – Business sentiment rises to highest level in a year despite the banking crisis as confidence returns after winter of energy concerns.
- “Despite the turbulence at some international banks, the German economy is stabilizing,” Ifo President commented on the data.
- Deutsche Bank, the nation’s largest lender, saw its 5y senior debt CDS rates hitting a high of 200bp seeing Chancellor Scholz coming out with a support statement on Friday.
- “Deutsche Bank has fundamentally modernized and reorganized its business model and is a very profitable bank,” Scholz said Friday at a news conference in Brussels.
- “There is no need to worry about anything,” he added.
- IFO Business Climate: 93.3 v 91.1 February and 91.0 est.
- IFO Current Assessment: 95.4 v 93.9 February and 94.1 est.
- IFO Expectations: 91.2 v 88.4 February and 88.3 est.
- Manufacturing IFO rose to 6.6. from 1.5
- Services rose to 8.9 from 1.3
- Trade climbed to -10.0 from -10.6
- Construction gained to -17.9 from -19.0.
- If the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia persist then next winter may be more of an issue depending on the availability of LNG and gas storage levels
Europe – European supermarket fruit and veg around 25% cheaper in the UK than in Europe.
- A Telegraph journalist has been shopping in Lidl in Berlin and Bristol comparing prices between the two.
- While some fresh food prices were higher in the UK, the vast majority compared were higher in Berlin than Bristol.
- Iceberg lettuce cost the equivalent of £1.75 in Berlin vs 65p in the Bristol Lidl, admittedly that is the most extreme case.
- But even carrots were £1.31/kg in Berlin vs 50p/kg in the UK. The list goes on.
Russia – Russia is bringing 1950s tanks to the front line suggests Russia has not got much left to fight with.
- Who is going to tell Putin that they have run out of useful tanks and other weapons to fight with?
- Who is going to declare that there are no more hypersonic missiles to fire into Kyiv?
- Who is going to tell the generals there is not enough of a conventional army left to defend Moscow?
- While some of the weapons used in the Ukraine have been manufactured in the last year highlighting Russia’s ability to evade sanctions on Western technology, we believe Russia’s manufacturing capacity is extremely limited.
- China does not appear to be supplying weapons though it may supply components.
- The battle for Bakhmut appears to have stabilised as Russia runs short of men and munitions in its offensive for this strategic town.
- Estimates range from 5-8 Russian fatalities for each Ukrainian soldier lost.
US$1.0761/eur vs 1.0789/eur last week. Yen 131.13/$ vs 130.13/$. SAr 18.270/$ vs 18.160/$. $1.224/gbp vs $1.225/gbp. 0.665/aud vs 0.667/aud. CNY 6.880/$ vs 6.863/$.
Dollar Index 103.11 vs 102.82 yesterday.
Gold US$1,969/oz vs US$1,988/oz last week
Gold ETFs 92.9moz vs US$92.9moz last week
Platinum US$973/oz vs US$987/oz last week
Palladium US$1,400/oz vs US$1,415/oz last week
Silver US$23.03/oz vs US$23.12/oz last week
Copper US$ 8,910/t vs US$9,021/t last week
Aluminium US$ 2,340/t vs US$2,353/t last week
Nickel US$ 23,340/t vs US$23,325/t last week
Zinc US$ 2,872/t vs US$2,923/t last week
Lead US$ 2,120/t vs US$2,120/t last week
Tin US$ 25,030/t vs US$25,000/t last week
Oil US$75.8/bbl vs US$75.5/bbl last week
- Crude oil prices were broadly unchanged over the weekend with the latest Commitment of Traders (CoT) report, published by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), indicating that crude oil and product speculative net positions (forwards and options) are at their lowest levels in over ten years.
- The US Baker Hughes rig count was up 4 to 758 rigs last week (up 88 y/y), with oil rigs up 4 to 589 units and gas rigs unchanged at 162 units. This included an increase of 3 rigs to 353 units in the Permian Basin and an additional offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Natural Gas US$2.107/mmbtu vs US$2.161/mmbtu last week
Uranium UXC US$50.35/lb vs US$50.20/lb yesterday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$119.5/t vs US$118.1/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$612.3/t vs US$612.9/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$134.5/t vs US$134.5/t
Thermal coal swap Australia FOB US$195.0/t vs US$186.0/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$340.0/t vs US$340.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$34,180/t vs US$34,180/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$81,023/t vs US$82,182/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$32,336/t vs US$33,295/t
China Spodumene Li2O 5%min CIF US$4,780/t vs US$4,830/t
Ferro-Manganese European Mn78% min US$1,329/t vs US$1,333/t
China Tungsten APT 88.5% FOB US$325/t vs US$325/t
China Graphite Flake -194 FOB US$790/t vs US$790/t
Europe Vanadium Pentoxide 98% 9.5/lb vs US$9.6/lb
Europe Ferro-Vanadium 80% 39.05/kg vs US$39.25/kg
China Ilmenite Concentrate TiO2 US$344/t vs US$345/t
Spot CO2 Emissions EUA Price US$93.7/t vs US$95.4/kg
Brazil Potash CFR Granular Spot US$450.0/t vs US$455.0/kg
CATL begins production of its 1,000km Qilin battery.
$5.5bn investment into battery manufacturing in Arizona by LG Energy Solution, South Korea.
- The $5.5bn investment is the largest single investment ever for a stand-alone battery manufacturing facility in North America.
- This is >4x the initial investment announcement for the manufacture cylindrical EV batteries
- in the same location. It will make cylindrical batteries for EVs and LFP pouch-type batteries for ESS.
EVs – Insurers are writing off relatively new electric vehicles after minor accidents due to inability to access battery data to assess battery conditions.
- The inability for insurers to make a proper assessment for safety purposes means the insurer has little choice but to write off the battery and often the vehicle with it.
- This is going to make insuring an electric vehicle yet more expensive.
Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA LN) 0.11p, Mkt cap £8.7m – Site work at the Clogau mine temporarily deferred pending permit approvals
- Alba Mineral Resources has confirmed that it will be temporarily deferring further “significant ground-based activities in or adjacent to the Clogau-St David’s Mine” in North Wales pending receipt of permits from Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
- The work, which includes dewatering old mine workings and “safety and exploratory works at the Company’s primary target within the Lower Llechfraith workings at Clogau” is to be resumed soon after permits are granted.
- The company is preparing responses to the regulators in respect to questions related to “a European Protected Species licence …covering a relatively narrow set of points relating to the EPSL including noise mitigation measures, biosecurity and the duration of the proposed exclusion measures for bats”.
- Alba Mineral Resources says that it aims to provide “full responses within the next two weeks or so … [and that it] … is hopeful that NRW will proceed to a decision soon thereafter on the grant of the permits so that the Company’s dewatering activities may proceed”.
- Plans to “conduct a high-resolution aeromagnetic geophysical survey over certain of its high-grade regional gold targets within the DGEP” (Dolgellau Gold Exploration Project are currently expected to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority to take place “between June and August”.
Anglo Asian Mining* (AAZ LN) 120p, Mkt Cap £131m – Potential to produce 20-25,000tpa of copper from Garadag
- Anglo Asian Mining reports that analysis of historic data, for the Garadag porphyry copper deposit located 16km NNE of the company’s Gedabek processing plant in Azerbaijan has identified potential “to produce over 300,000 tonnes of copper” at a rate of between 20-25,000tpa.
- The historic data includes a Soviet-era mineral resources estimate of 49mt averaging 0.64% copper as well as more recent exploration by Azergold.
- Maps published in today’s announcement 300,000 plus tonnes of copper defined at Garadag – 07:00:04 27 Mar 2023 – AAZ News article | London Stock Exchange show that, in addition to its proximity to the Gedabek plant, Garadag lies close to the recently announced mineralisation at Xarxar.
- The company’s consultants, AMC and Bureau Veritas, have assessed the mineral resource potential and metallurgical characteristics of Garadag and Anglo Asia Mining confirms that it “intends to prepare a mineral resource estimate to the JORC Standard on completion of the evaluation programme”.
- Anglo Asian Mining is planning a detailed re-logging of all the 23,454m of existing drill core and a “full mining assessment … to determine the likely best options for extraction”.
- Work completed so far across a range of potential cut-off grades show that at “a 0.3 per cent. copper cut-off, the … mineral resource is 191 million tonnes grading 0.43 per cent. copper that hosts 821 thousand tonnes of copper”.
- The announcement indicates that “At a mining rate of 7 million tonnes per annum … 35,000 tonnes of copper per annum could be extracted over the 14 year mine life, which at a 65 per cent. processing recovery, would deliver production of 22,750 tonnes of copper per annum”.
- Analysis of the historic drilling information shows mineralisation at Garadag within leached, oxide, enrichment, transition and primary zones which “will further assist the geometallurgical approach for process selection”.
- Vice President, Stephen Westhead, described the work at Garadag to date as “only a preliminary assessment” but confirmed that the deposit “has the potential to meaningfully increase our production profile and alone provides us with considerable copper mineralisation”.
- The company also confirms that its “Garadag contract area also hosts four other known mineralisation targets named as “Moruglu”, “Gochdere”, and “Seyidler” … plus “Ashaqi Cayir” and “Yuxari Cayir” collectively known as “Jaghirchay” near Garadag … [and that the] … length of the target zone adjacent to and including Garadag for exploration is 9.8 kilometres”.
- A map (Figure 5) shown in the announcement shows these additional targets extending northeast from the Xarxar deposit announced earlier this month in what is termed the “Garadag Copper Belt”. The same map also says that there is “extension potential” at Garadag itself of ~3,200m.
- Mr. Westhead, described Garadag as hosting “very significant quantities of copper … [which are] … an important addition to the Company’s growing portfolio of copper assets”.
Conclusion: The identification of potentially meaningful copper mineralisation at Garadag within a belt almost 10km long close to the process plant at Gedabek and extending northeast from the recently announced Xarxar deposit provides Anglo Asian Mining with the resource potential to help advance its aspirations to become a mid-tier copper producer.
*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Anglo Asian Mining
Bluejay Mining* (JAY LN) 3.15p, Mkt cap £33.5m – Results from Enonkoski joint venture in Finland with Rio Tinto show nickel, copper and cobalt grade
- Blyejay Mining report results from exploration drilling at the Enonkosko nickel, copper, cobalt joint venture in Finland.
- Two relatively deep drill holes were drilled covering some 951m just 1.5km from the historic Laukungangas nickel mine.
- Laukungangas mine had a non-JORC resource of 6.7mt grading 0.78% nickel and 0.22% copper.
- Historic grades in the ‘off-set’ massive sulphide portion of the mine were >5% copper, 2% copper and 0.3% cobalt according to the Geological Survey of Finland in 2020.
- New drilling shows interesting nickel, copper and cobalt grades in relatively short intersections for drill holes ENON0027 and ENON0028:
|From (m)||To (m)||(m)||%||%||%||%||%|
Nickel equivalent ‘NiEq’ grades are calculated using NiEq % = nickel (%) + (copper (%) x 0.3696) + (cobalt (%) x 1.4428). Assumptions used for the nickel equivalent calculations were the current spot metal prices (as of 17th March 2023) of US$10.66/lb nickel, US$3.94/lb copper and US$15.38/lb Co and metallurgical recoveries were assumed to be 100%..
- The team are using LIBS ‘Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy’ to scan the drill core for qualitative material analysis. The LIBS system can detect any and all chemical elements in a sample.
- XRF guns have shown up to 11% nickel in spot measurements. While we generally discount these sorts of results as portable XRF guns give readings for a very specific point on the sample which is not remotely representative from a whole-rock grade perspective, we do accept that the identification of high-grade nickel within a sample can be of interest.
- The recent analysis of data within the former Hälvälä Ni-Cu mine and Makkola Ni-Cu deposit indicates the Makkola Ni-Cu “mineralisation is open at a shallow level along strike in an area untested by previous drilling.”
- Dr. Bo Møller Stensgaard, CEO of Bluejay Mining plc, commented: “The results from the first 2023 drilling with Rio Tinto on the Enonkoski Project are very encouraging with one of the drill holes returning significant intervals of sulphide-droplets, representing the highest sulphide content of any hole we have drilled in the Laukunlampi intrusion to date. Furthermore, individual droplets yield by far the highest Ni tenors of any sulphide so far encountered within this intrusion. This has positive implications for further exploration as we anticipate that the Ni tenor of the sulphide droplets as well as the overall sulphide content, should increase towards massive sulphide ores, providing us with a vector on which to plan our future drill holes as we continue the search for a significant mineralised body with economic grades of nickel, copper, cobalt within the Laukunlampi intrusion.
Conclusion: Bluejay is making progress in Finland with some interesting results. The analysis being done should bring the joint venture closer towards the future identification of a potentially economic discovery.
*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Bluejay Mining. The analyst holds shares in Bluejay Mining
Gemfields Group (GEM LN) 18.1p, Mkt Cap £215m – March auction yields $21m in sales
- The Company reports that its March auction (6-24th March) of rough emeralds from the Kagem operation in Zambia yielded revenue of US$21.2m from the sale of 25 of the 29 lots offered.
- The average price achieved was US$7.13/carat and “95% of the carats offered were sold”.
- General Manager of Product & Sales, Adrian Banks, described the results of the first auction of 2023 as “a sound outcome” and said that “While it is evident that the market has normalised appreciably following the exuberance we experienced in 2022, this auction delivered the third highest price per carat that we’ve seen across our 21 auctions of commercial quality emeralds from Kagem”.
- At its auction in September 2022, Kagem emeralds averaged US$$9.01/carat, the second highest figure after $9.37/carat recorded in the previous auction in March/April.
Oriole Resources* (ORR LN) 0.13p, Mkt cap £3.4m – Mbe gold samples confirm 3km target. Multi-element analysis awaited on potential lithium samples
Initiation Note – CLICK FOR PDF. (CLP Licenses are 90% owned)
- Oriole Resources report progress at their Lithium target within the Ndom target within the ‘CLP’ Central License Package.
- The team are also making progress at the Mbe gold license with completion of ground-based geophysics over the main target area.
- Mbe: 17 samples grading >1g/t gold in rock chips show a 3km-long by 70m trend with veins showing grades of up to 134.10 g/t and more significantly up to 10 g/t from altered host rocks.
- The sample data is being combined with the geophysics and geological mapping for drill target identification with detailed data analysis being undertaken by Australia-based Terra Resources for the identification of drill targets.
- Lithium target: Awaiting multi-element analysis at Ndom in the East of the CLP ‘Central License Package’, located towards the North of Cameroon.
- 105 rock chip samples have been sent for multi-element analysis with results due over the next few months depending on transport and assay turnaround times.
- See press release for maps of the licenses and geological trends as depicted by the work done to date.
- Oriole is led by Tim Livesey, formerly exploration manager for Barrick Gold in Eurasia, and a senior executive of Tethyan Copper in Baluchistan and Reservoir Minerals.
- Abdoul Mbodji, a Senegalese geoscientist runs the exploration in Cameroon. Mbodji formerly worked as a geologist at Terranga’s Sabodala gold mine and at the Company’s Senala project prior to the JV with IAMGOLD.
- Claire Bay, Director of Exploration, is also involved in the review and interpretation of the technical data.
Conclusion: Oriole are methodically working through new data with a view to proving up a potentially large-scale, near-surface gold prospects in Cameroon. Recent detailed magnetic geophysical data added to last year’s soil geochemical work will help in the preparation of drill targets. The team are also waiting for assay results on a potential lithium anomaly in the east of the Central License Package.
*SP Angel acts as Broker to Oriole Resources
Savannah Resources* (SAV LN ) 3.0p, Mkt Cap £51m – Parish Council case extinguished
BUY – 17.9p
- The legal action brought by the Parish of Covas do Barroso against the Portuguese administration and announced in Feb/22 has now been extinguished.
- Earlier, the court ruled that the Portuguese State were not legitimate parties to the lawsuit and both the defendants (the state) and counter-interested party (the Company) were acquitted of all requests by the Parish Council.
- The litigation aimed to cancel a number of decisions from mid-2016 including the addition of lithium to and the expansion in the area of the C-100 Mining Lease at the Barroso Project.
- The time period that the Parish had to appeal has now expired.
Scotgold Resources (SGZ LBN) 14.4p, Mkt Cap £9.6m – Mining challenges at Cononish
- The Company released an operational update on mining activities at the Cononish Gold Mine located near Tyndrum, Scotland.
- Underground development ahead of the switch from cut and fill operations to lower cost and more productive long hole stoping encountered lower grades than expected.
- In particular, development at the 430 West ore drive that progressed from cut and fill stope 1 (CAF 1) towards CAF 2, that previously recorded high gold grades above 10-12g/t through 2022, saw gold grades declining significantly before turning into waste.
- The outcome did not reconcile with the existing grade control model.
- As a result February ore production was negatively effected with only ~1,000t of ore mined at 4.00g/t (Jan/23: 3,000t at 5.65g/t).
- Ore mined in March is expected to come in at 500-600t against previous expectations for ~6,000t.
- The team has now shifted development priorities to the 415 East ore drive and develop access to the 445 level ahead of mining areas where the original resource and grade control models support high confidence mineralisation.
- Long hole stoping is expected to start later in the month.
- Underperformance of mining operations led the team to announce that “in the event that the planned commencement of long hole stoping in April is delayed, or the anticipated tonnes of ore mined in April and the following months is significantly below the current mine plan, then a material uncertainty would exist that casts significant doubt over the ability of the consolidated entity to continue as a going concern in the very immediate term and therefore its ability to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business”.
- The Company is reported to be in discussions with its gold offtake partner regarding a $500k advance as well as a convertible loan facility to assist with short term working capital.
Conclusion: Worse than expected mining reconciliation at the Cononish mine see a significant downwards gold production revision weighing on near term cash generation and resulting in higher working capital needs. The Company is reported to be in discussions with its gold offtake partner over $500k as well as a potential convertible bond facility highlighting working capital pressures, given that the Company raised £3.0m in mid-February.
No.1 in Copper: “The winner of the 2020 Fastmarkets Apex contest for copper was the team at SP Angel comprising John Meyer, Sergey Raevskiy and Simon Beardsmore, with an accuracy score of 93.8%”
No1. In Gold: “SP Angel’s trio took the top spot for the gold price prediction throughout the year, with an accuracy score of 97.59%”
The SP Angel team also ranked 1st in Palladium, 3rd in Tin and 5th in Silver in the fourth quarter of 2020
John Meyer – John.Meyer@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0490
Simon Beardsmore – Simon.Beardsmore@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0484
Sergey Raevskiy –Sergey.Raevskiy@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0474
Richard Parlons –Richard.Parlons@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0472
Abigail Wayne – Abigail.Wayne@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0534
Rob Rees – Rob.Rees@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0535
Grant Barker – Grant.Barker@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0471
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*SP Angel are the No1 integrated nomad and broker by number of mining brokerage clients on AIM according to the AIM Advisers Ranking Guide (joint brokerships excluded)
+SP Angel employees may have previously held, or currently hold, shares in the companies mentioned in this note.
|Sources of commodity prices|
|Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver||BGNL (Bloomberg Generic Composite rate, London)|
|Gold ETFs, Steel||Bloomberg|
|Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Tin, Cobalt||LME|
|Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore||NYMEX|
|Thermal Coal||Bloomberg OTC Composite|
|Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Tungsten, Spodumene, Ferro-Manganese, Graphite||Asian Metal|
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