Banking giant HSBC (HSBA) helps reverse early losses for the FTSE 100 helping end a three-day negative run for Britain's blue-chip shares. HSBC rises 10.5p, or 1.7%, to 639.8p despite posting a bigger than expected 12% slide in pre-tax profits. 'Whilst regulatory uncertainty persists, our balance sheet remains strong and our continuing ability to generate capital supports both growth and our progressive dividend policy,' chief executive Stuart Gulliver says. The UK banking industry continues to face calls for a competition probe, as recently flagged by Shares, among other potential threats.
Greater capital efficiency demanded by the market is in evidence in Telecity's (TCY) half year results although churn issues in the UK hold back progress. Lower capex, newly published return on capital employed (ROCE) stats, an increased dividends, and acqusitions ruled out in the short-term fail to stem a share price decline, falling nearly 6% to 745p.
A welcome return to core growth by financial trading software supplier Fidessa (FDSA) is wiped out by stiff currency headwinds. A warning that 'we believe it is likely to be a factor for the remainder of the year' spooks the market, dragging the shares 1.4% lower to £20.27.
Ukrainian focussed oil and gas producer JKX Oil & Gas (JKX) slumps 15.5% to 34p as the country doubles its tax rate on gas output to 55%. The company says it will take 'operational and financial measures' in response.
Moroccan oil explorer Tangiers Petroleum (TPET:AIM) falls 66% to 2.5p as its TAO-1 well off the coast of the North African country comes up dry. Tangiers had already announced the secondary Assaka target did not contain hydrocarbons (28 Jul) and now the primary Trident prospect is also revealed to be a dud, extending the run of disappointing results from the industry's exploration efforts offshore Morocco.
Kazakh oil play Max Petroleum (MXP:AIM) gains 22.5% to 1.5p as it secures £37.1 million through a share subscription with AGR Holdings - a vehicle of the country's powerful Assaubuyev family. As a result the latter will have a 51% stake, the company had launched a strategic review in July after breaching covenants on a $85.9 million facility with Sberbank.
A swathe of new clients that will use its mobile commerce platform lifts MoPowered (MPOW:AIM) more than 10% to 31.5p, although that's still half of the 61.5p before the recent revenue warning. Much of the new work is coming from the building trade, with Jewson among the new business wins.
Life sciences company ValiRx (VAL:AIM) gains 11.7% to 0.3p as it prepares to test cancer treatment VAL201 on people for the first time. The licensing authority has cleared the drug to enter human clinical trials, albeit, slightly later than Shares reported in January.
Life sciences research tool-maker Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDH:AIM) falls 6.2% to 490p on lower-than-expected sales in the first half. Currency headwinds are also likely to eat into profits. This is an early set-back in the diagnostic specialist’s plan to double revenues in five years.
US science and technology investor Allied Minds (ALM) improves 5.8% to 230.1p as it reveals the formation of a joint venture. Its partner is US pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY:NYSE), the pair with wiork together to support research and pre-clinical developments in US universities.
Luxury interior furnishings maker Walker Greenbank (WGB:AIM) gains 2.5p at 204.5p on a positive half-year trading update. Walker flags particularly strong sales in the UK, its biggest market, as well as overseas sales growth, at constant currencies. Shares outlined the small cap's investment merits in our Griller interview with CEO John Sach a year ago.