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Tech-focused investment trusts bear the brunt as Tesla et al fall from favour

US and Chinese technology stocks are out of favour, which is having repercussions back in Blighty for a number of tech-focused investment trusts.

Scottish Mortgage Trust PLC (LON:SMT), down 4.4% at 972.5p, was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 and the highest-profile casualty.

The trust counts Tesla (5.1% of its portfolio), Tencent (6.5%), Illumina (6.1%) and (5.9%) in its list of big holdings.

Pacific Horizon Investment Trust PLC (LON:PHI) tumbled 8.9% to 638p, pricing it some way below its net asset value (NAV) per share of around 733p.

In its results statement last week the trust emphasised how well its holdings in internet, online and biotech businesses and enablers had been doing.

JPMorgan China Growth & Income PLC (LON:JCGI) retreated 7.9% to 562p, almost a pound below its NAV.

As the name of the trust suggests, the company is focused on Chinese investments; its two biggest holdings are Tencent, which forms 8.9% of its portfolio, an Alibaba, which forms 8.2%.

Fidelity China Special Investment Trusts PLC (LON:FCSS) joined JPMorgan China Growth & Income in the doghouse with a 6.6% fall to 390.5p, versus a NAV of 430.5p.

It also has exposure to Tencent and Alibaba, as well as the likes of 21Vianet, Intron Technology Holdings and Hutchison China Meditech.

Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust PLC (LON:EWI) slipped 6.4% to 286.5p versus a NAV of around 333p. It has significant holdings in Tesla, the electric car, autonomous driving and solar energy company; Ocado, an online grocery retailer and technology provider; Teladoc, a telemedicine service provider; and Chegg, an online education company.

1.55pm: Origo Partners mystified by share price rise

Origo Partners PLC (LON:OPP) took the air out of its share price balloon, sending the shares 24% lower to 0.19p with a brief statement.

The company noted the recent large trading volumes and movements in its share price and said it had no information that explains this large volume and price movement.

The company additionally confirmed that it has no information concerning its assets in addition to what was set forth in its 22 January 2021 announcement.

1.00pm: Induction Healthcare bags two new contracts

Induction Healthcare Group PLC (LON:INHC) climbed 12% to 91p after it bagged two new contracts outside of its usual market.

The contracts are with the University of the West of England and South Gloucestershire Council and are for induction booking to enable the booking of COVID-19 lateral flow tests.

The company, which focuses on the digital transformation of hospitals, said induction booking by universities will make it easier for students to take a coronavirus test and (assuming the test results are negative) return home between terms without endangering the other household members.

12.05pm: Kape of good hope after Webselenese acquisition

Kape Technologies PLC (LON:KAPE) shot up 22% to 234.13p after it acquired Webselenese for US$149.1mln.

Webselenese operates a digital platform that provides independent and highly valued consumer privacy and security content to millions of users globally via market-leading review sites.

Kape said the acquisition will provide a 65% boost to adjusted earnings per share.

11.10am: Argo Blockchain completes acquisition of DPN

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB), up 16% at 255p, continued its recent astonishing run after it completed the acquisition of 320 acres of land in West Texas, USA.

Completion of the acquisition followed a non-binding letter of intent with DPN LLC signed in February.

The cryptocurrency miner said it has now acquired DPN and by extension the Texas acreage, for an initial price of US$5mln satisfied by the issue of around 3.5mln new shares in Argo to DPN shareholders. A further payment of shares worth up to US$12.5mln will also occur if certain contractual milestones are fulfilled.

10.10am: Premier African the top riser as speculation mounts over its Zulu exclusive prospecting order application

Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM), up 46% at 0.175p, found itself the top riser in London as speculation mounted over its progress in Zimbabwe.

Today’s gains add to Friday’s advance, which was so marked that the company felt obliged to issue a statement after the market had closed to say that it had nothing new to say regarding the exclusive prospecting order (EPO) applications in respect of its Zulu Lithium Private asset.

The company said it will notify the market as and when it receives any official communication about the status of Zulu’s EPO application.

9.15am: Tekcapital boosted by US FDA clearance for portfolio’s company’s device

TekCapital PLC (LON:TEK) shot up 31% to 19p after Bellascura’s X-PLO2R portable oxygen concentrator received regulatory clearance in the USA.

The UK intellectual property investment group owns around 10.5mln shares in Bellascura, equivalent to a stake of 17.8% or thereabouts. TekCapital has the right to exercise warrants and options that would lift its holding to 17.1mln Bellascura shares.

Clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for X-PLO2R to go on sale was described as a transformational development for Bellascura by TekCapital.

ADES International (LON:ADES) has agreed to be taken private by a consortium including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in a deal worth US$516mln.

The recommended US$12.50 a share offer represents a 40% premium to Friday’s closing price and is worth 36% more than the volume-weighted average price over the last 30 days. Shares in Ades were up 39% at 12.4p in early deals.

The bid has been tabled by newly formed Innovative Energy, which is jointly owned by 64% shareholder ADES Investments, Saudi’s Public Investment Fund and Zamil Group.

Proactive news headlines

The Middle East drilling group ADES International (LON:ADES) has agreed to be taken private by a consortium including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in a deal worth US$516mln.

SourceBio International PLC (LON:SBI) said it has signed an agreement with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Premiership Rugby Limited to provide coronavirus (COVID-19) testing services for elite rugby in England.

Technology group Induction Healthcare (LON:INHC) has announced two public sector contracts for its booking system, which will be used to manage COVID-19 lateral flow tests.

Blackbird PLC (LON:BIRD) has unveiled a partnership with EVS, a live video technology and new media group, with launch deployments for international sporting events. 

Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) shares moved higher on Monday after the firm unveiled a new reforestation and carbon credit division which it said represents “a valuable add-on” to its existing forest management operations. 

Tirupati Graphite PLC (LON:TGR) has reported on progress made in the redevelopment of hydropower facilities at the Sahamamy graphite project in Madagascar and on the initiation of further studies for hydropower across both its Madagascar graphite projects. 

Black Bear Energy Resources Plc (LON:BBER) has announced fundraising plans as it looks to begin work on its oil and gas asset in Michigan and complete a leasing deal in Texas.

Oracle Power PLC (LON:ORCP) has confirmed the presence of a newly identified substantial greenstone belt at its Jundee East gold project, located in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) told investors that the Sarta-3 well has begun production.

United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) has spudded the ASD-1X exploration well in the Abu Sennan Licence in Egypt.

Amryt Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:AMYT, LON:AMYT) said it has signed an agreement with Medison Pharma Canada, which will distribute the former’s Myalepta drug in the country.

Argo Blockchain PLC (LON:ARB) (OTCQX:ARBKF) said it has now completed the acquisition of 320 acres of land in West Texas, USA, following a non-binding letter of intent with DPN LLC signed in February. 

AfriTin Mining Ltd (LON:ATM) produced 194.5 tonnes of tin concentrate from its Uis mine in Namibia in the fourth quarter to end February 2021, representing a 28% quarterly increase compared with the previous quarter, and exceeding the 180 tonnes production target. Total production for the 2021 financial year amounted to 473 tonnes of tin concentrate. 

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) chief executive Rusty Hutson said he was exceptionally pleased with the resilience of the company’s business model, as it released full-year results for 2020.

Circle Property PLC (LON:CRC) said rent collection across its portfolio improved in the final quarter of 2020. 

Gore Street Energy Storage Fund PLC (LON:GSF) saw its net asset value per share rise by 2.3% in the final quarter of 2020 to 99.6p.

Bacanora Lithium PLC (LON:BCN) lost US$15.6mln for the year ended 31 December 2020, including a US$4.1mln loss on discontinued assets. During the year ended 31 December 2020, Bacanora incurred US$4.4mln general and administrative costs. Bacanora has not entered into commitments to develop its flagship Sonora project in Mexico yet, and front-end engineering work continues. 

Financial app operator Mode Global Holdings PLC (LON:MODE) has appointed Jonathan Conway, one of the architects of open banking, as its new chief technology officer (CTO).

FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) said investee company Portage Biotech Inc has announced the divestment of three legacy businesses: Portage Pharmaceuticals (PPL), and its subsidiaries Portage Glasgow Limited and EyGen Limited, to Juvenescence Ltd. Portage may be entitled to receive up to US$244mln in future milestone payments based on specified development criteria.

MelodyVR Group PLC (LON:MVR) said its name change to Napster Group PLC (LON:NAPS) will take place tomorrow, 9 March.

Allergy Therapeutics PLC (LON:AGY) chief executive, chief financial officer and head of business innovation will present at the online H.C. Wainwright Global Life Sciences Conference taking place from 9-10 March. The presentation will be made available on-demand for participants from 9 March and on Allergy Therapeutics’ website:

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