Falklands Oil stocks (Desire Petroleum DES, Falklands Oil and Gas FOGL, Borders and Southern BOR) - Plenty of controversy in the Falkland Islands this week, with The Thor Leader,a ship carrying pipes made by the Techint group in Argentina being stopped in the southern port of Campana because of allegations by the Argentinian government that it was "illegally" supplying drilling equipment to the Falklands.Techint, the world's biggest producer of seamless steel tubing for the oil industry, denied that the equipment was even bound for the Falklands and said it was going to clients in the Mediterranean. The share prices of DES, FOGL and BOR slid on the news but not alarmingly and were more hurt by the strengthening dollar's impact on the price of oil. The Ocean Guardian rig should arrive in the Falklands next week all being well. Continuing to hold all these stocks and anticipating significant volatility as drilling starts for Desire Petroleum.
Coal of Africa (CZA) - Again broadly flat this week at 130p. No news but an interesting interview with Arcellor Mital in Mining weekly which own a stake in CZA and have been touted as being in the game to take over the company - CEO Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita said on Wednesday that the group was redoubling its efforts to secure control of additional iron-ore. The decision was aligned to a group strategy of lowering costs through resource ownership rather than to any security of supply concerns, as there was sufficient domestic capacity available for purchase. "We are not concerned about accessing iron-ore, we are concerned about having control over than iron-ore," she explained, adding that the same was true for coal, which underpinned its decision to invest in Coal of Africa.The company requires 10-million tons of iron-ore yearly to meet its annual nameplate steelmaking capacity of 8-million tons. It is currently able to source more than 9-million of that need on favourable terms, paying market-related prices for the balance. However, if it were to grow its capacity, the company would aim to do so in a way that it matched any steelmaking expansion, with an expansion of its upstream resources. "We are now redoubling efforts to be self-sufficient in iron-ore and coal," Nyembezi-Heita explained, adding that the group's loss of participation rights in Sishen South meant that a new approach would have to be pursued. She indicated that the company was ready to partner with BEE explorers in pursuing new iron-ore opportunities in South Africa. Similarly, it would be keen to participate in projects able to produce hard coking coal. At full capacity, the group would consume about 1,8-million of coal yearly.
Nighthawk Energy (HAWK) - Having broken through the 30p mark last week, HAWK is oscillating between 27p and 30p as further news from the Jolly Ranch project is eagerly awaited by investors. The announcement that Lloyds sold a tranche of their holding is the reason for the downward pressure in recent weeks, and hopefully this overhang of stock is now cleared. Positive news from the company's shale oil project is now needed.
ITV (ITV) - ITV closed down around 50p this week as BSkyB finally placed a 10% holding in the market. The position is now down around 10% from the but price. However, the clearance of the uncertainty about the Sky scale now opens the door for a potential take over of this company sometime in the next 12 months as revenues recover.
GW Pharma (GWP) - Little movement this week as news on the Decentralised Procedures for the EU registration of Sativex is still awaited. This is Contrarian Investor's largest holding given the odds of a successful approval seem signficantly higher than a rejection given the strong clinical trial results in multiple sclerosis patients.
Amgen (AMGN) - Despite another positive clinical trial for osteoporosis drug, Prolia, Amgen slipped this week to close around $56 as the pharma sector as a whole was unloved by investors. Holding for news on EU Prolia approval.
Micron Technology (MU) - Micron stock remained at around the $8.5 level as it announced an acquisition of Numonyx for $1.2 billion in stock (see previous article from earlier in the week). Holding
Intel (INTC) - A rise in Intel to around $20.5 on Friday gave an opportunity to sell some of the position bought at $19.