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BSF (BSFA), the Main Market listed biotech company, provided an update on the Company’s partnership progress across several of 3DBT’s product verticals. The company said it was delighted to be working with one of the world’s largest cosmetic companies, which highlights the potential of its Etsyl product and the diverse applications of its technology. Furthermore, with an enlarged team in hand, it hopes to secure further partnerships and sales for its various product offerings at an accelerated pace.

Comment: After a great and inspiring start to 2023, it is disappointing that BSF have not made more of a noise regarding the potential / attractions of its technology. Perhaps the aftermath of today’s news will reinvigorate the stock?

Harland & Wolff Group (HARL) notes the announcement made yesterday by Isles of Scilly Steamship Company Limited and confirms that it made an indicative and preliminary approach to ISSCL regarding a possible cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of ISSCL. HARL said it has been considering the opportunity to build and/or operate ferries to service the Isles of Scilly to Penzance route, which it believes is significantly underserved by its current operation.

Comment: Anyone just a tad bleary eyed in the wake of Thanksgiving may have initially read “Statement re Offer” as meaning that Harland itself was being bid for. Alas, it is the slightly more pedestrian story that it is possibly taking over the rather 19th century sounding Isle of Scilly Steamship company.

First Class Metals (FCM) a UK metals exploration company focused on northwest Ontario, announced that it has completed a placing at a price of 6 pence raising gross proceeds of £603,000 and satisfying fees of £48,000. The company said it was necessary to raise funds to enable the development of the high impact first drill program on the Zigzag lithium/Critical Metals Property and also repay the outstanding CLN. It aims to advance its projects to a stage where they become conducive to monetise.

Comment: It will be seen as a smart move by FCM that it is acted in an opportunistic manner to raise cash in order to accelerate its progress to the monetisation of its projects. Indeed, the latest fundraise should provide a window in which buyers start to sniff around the stock as FCM takes the likes of Zigag forward.

Steppe Cement (STCM) The CEO, yesterday topped up his holding at 22.4p to take it to 8.3% and 74% of the shares are tightly held. STCM can be traced back to 1953 and listed on AIM in 2005 and is one of the lowest cost cement producers in Kazakhstan.  Over the years, annual production capacity steadily increased to 2 million tonnes. The Interims to June reported a 14% decline in revenue to $36.9m and a drop in in Gross margins to 26% from 46% making a $0.1m PBT compared to $10m. It’s recent Q3 trading update to September, however, report a swift turnaround with revenue for t6he three months increased by a comparative 8%, but due to lower prices and higher costs the EBITDA will be lower than the $31.5m made in Y/E December 2022. There is plenty of scope for recovery as the  historic P/E is 4x and a 4p dividend although there was no interim dividend there is hope for the full year as  net cash is  around $3m.

Comment: The shares halved to 23p and a £50m mkt cap and at least the CEO is confident that business is improving.

Coro Energy (CORO), the South East Asian energy company with a natural gas and clean energy portfolio announces, in anticipation of and in preparation for the rollout of the recently announced 50MW rooftop solar project in Vietnam, that the Company has restructured its arrangements with its partners in Vietnam, increasing its equity interest in its Vietnamese venture from 85% to 92.5%. CORO said following its recent Philippines partner restructuring, it is delighted to announce a similar restructuring in Vietnam. This transaction, timed as it moves towards finalising its previously announced Vietnam funding arrangements with a view to initiating its rollout of the 50MW rooftop solar project, increases Coro’s equity in the Vietnamese business and aligns its partners with Coro’s shareholders.

Comment: Shares of Coro have come off the boil since the September spike off the back of a gas sales agreement for the Mako Gas Field. Investors will be hoping that today’s news will clear the air for a fresh run higher.

RUA Life Sciences (RUA), the holding company of a group of medical device businesses focused on the exploitation of the world’s leading long-term implantable biostable polymer, provided an unaudited trading update for the six-month period ended 30 September 2023. The company said taking into account the recent catch-up in shipments, its Biomaterials and Contract Manufacturing businesses continue to perform in line with expectations and demonstrate growth potential. As announced on 20 November with the Strategy Update its focus is to minimise the future investment required for the Group to commercialise its development projects and provide a pathway for the Group to reach profitability and cash generation in a significantly shorter timeframe.

Comment; Shares of RUA spiked sharply in the past week in the wake of the well received strategy update. The market seems primed to resume the enthusiasm given the prospects for accelerating cash generation.