Contrarian Investor Portfolio Review October 16th 2019

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Greetings from Shanghai Contrarians! In order to aid transparency in what I write about, here is the first Contrarian Investor Portfolio. I will only cover my larger and more speculative or interesting holdings and put down a few of the stocks I am watching.

Please note I scale in and scale out of a position. Never sell at the top and hopefully never at the bottom. Use Spread bets and CFDs, increasingly the former. Don’t use automated stops on small caps because of volatility and accidental stops being triggered on “shakes”. Tend to cut a position after a 20 per cent loss. Also, keep plenty of margin on leveraged positions on these volatile stocks, at least 50% capacity on a spread bet account to avoid forced position closes at losses.

UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) Average purchase price 1.2p Current share price 1.10-1.20p

I have followed UKOG for many years and was a large investor during the Broadford Bridge drill in 2017. It was a profitable trade then but didn’t manage to sell at the top at 7.4p. Broadford Bridge was a real cock up because of drilling issues.

I started buying UKOG again in the last few weeks before Surrey County Council Planning and the arrival of the drilling rig at Horse Hill. At around 1p-1.2p, even with 6 billion shares in issue, it does look very good.

The news from Horse Hill (HH) yesterday on the coring samples from the HH-2 well was excellent.

“Preliminary visual analysis of a total of 241.45 ft of core has clearly identified the Portland reservoir's most productive zone or "sweet spot", which will now be the target of the planned circa 1,000 m HH-2z horizontal trajectory, expected to commence next week.

Live oil was observed "bleeding" profusely from core throughout the sweet-spot, the Upper Portland reservoir's most porous, permeable and oil productive interval. Lesser degrees of oil bleed, together with oil shows and oil staining were also observed from porous sandstone intervals lying above and below the sweet-spot. The core is now at a Surrey-based laboratory, where an extensive geological and petrophysical analysis programme is now underway. Results of analyses that directly impact the field's possible increased oil in place and recoverable oil volumes will be reported in due course.”

UKOG looks very undervalued at 1.2p.

The drilling is HH is going very well. No cementing issues or acid wash problems like at Broadford Bridge. The geology of HH is different and lessons have been learnt. The excitement begins now as the HH-2-z horizontal well is being drilled right now, with the newly identified “sweet spot” as the target. Horse Hill has planning for up to 16 tankers a day initially, is in a calm geo-political environment of Horley Surrey and the site is already producing 250 bopd from the Kimmeridge. Tankers are leaving on a regular basis to Horley.

UKOG is an exciting prospect and I am targeting 2-3p once the Yorkville Associates shares for the Tellurian acquisition (to enable 86% of Horse Hill to be owned by UKOG), further good news should boost things nicely. Don’t forget the new horizontal well will be 1000 metres long and 1000-1500 bopd choked is more than possible in terms of production. New wells will be drilled in Q1 2020 (February/March once the rig becomes available) to allow 3500 bopd. Lessons have been learnt by Steve Sanderson and the team over the last few years and hopefully, the perfect drill so far continues into the end of 2019.

Union Jack Oil (UJO) Average purchase price 0.22p Current share price 0.20-0.21p

I managed to see David Bramhill, Exec. Chairman of Union Jack Oil last Friday and it was a very interesting chat. I have bought in recently and it was great to hear about the forthcoming plans for Wressle, West Newton and Biscathorpe over the coming months.

Link to David Bramhill meeting notes Meeting with Dave Bramhill (Exec Chairman of Union Jack Oil) October 11 2019- exciting times ahead

Just to reiterate, no short term plans for a placing but there will be medium-term.

Timings Summary (CI estimates):

West Newton

Extended Well Test November 2019

CPR Jan/Feb 2020

WN B Spud March 2020 (could be earlier or later)

Wressle

Planing inquiry November 5th - November 9th 2019

Biscathorpe

New seismic assessment October - November 2019

Metro Bank (MTRO) Average purchase price 210p Current share price 204p

Even with the Brexit banking bounce Metro Bank hasn’t benefitted, compare with Lloyds bank for example. At 204p, the bank looks very undervalued, even with all the bad news over the last few months. The bank won’t go bust after a successful bond issue (albeit at 9.5% coupon) and it looks very cheap versus book value. It has come down from 3000p in 2018 and the last placing in May was at 500p. Vernon HIll has been forced to leave to get the MREL related bond issue away and there are rumours that he is trying to take MTRO private. Hedge funds are shorting but upside on any good news looks strong.

See full SWOT analysis on Metro Bank at https://contrarianinvestor.net/posts/2019/10/9/swot-analysis-for-metro-bank-good-punt-or-too-risky

It has been a challenging year for Metro Bank, with the lender facing intense speculation over the health of its balance sheet earlier this year due to a £900 million accounting error. However, concerns have been reduced after the bank successfully raised £375 million via a share placing in mid-May which was oversubscribed. In September MTRO raised $350 million in a bond issue.

The bank is likely looking to put the first half of 2019 far behind it and instead focus on delivering costs efficiencies and continued growth in capital-light fee income.

The bank is also busily expanding its presence in the North of England in the hopes of empowering growth for SMEs in cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. Metro Bank plans to open around 10 new branches in 2019.

What is going for Metro Bank, even with all the problems of the past?

Highly capitalised - after ¢350 million bonds fundraise in September and $375 million equity raise in May to meet MREL (Minimum Requirement for Own Funds and Eligible Liabilities) requirements, oversubscribed. See more on MREL, SRB, and BRRD in link: Is the Bank of England behind the Metro Bank Chaos?

  • Deposits of £13,7 billion, net outflows of £2 billion in H1 2019 caused by bad publicity (buy July has seen £700 million in net in-flows)

  • Year on year loan growth of £3 billion to £15 billion

  • Number one bank in the UK for quality of service according to the latest Competition and Market Authorities Survey. Watchdog BBC calls them the No.1 UK bank for customer service.

  • Customer account growth of 190,000 to over 1.8 million, though the rate of growth down from 201,000 in H1 2018.

  • Net book value over £10 per share, compared with £2.10 share price

  • Full banking licence in the UK

  • An increasing number of UK branches

  • Good initiatives with Fin Tech companies to improve service and customer analytics.

The shares have lost more than 85% of their value since the beginning of January, with the Metro Bank’s share price closing at 204p on Tuesday’s session, down from the £17 levels it saw at the start of the year.

The management says 2019 is a ‘year of transition’, with the lender focused on upgrading its cost savings guidance to the upper end of its original range and rebalancing its lending mix.

Q3 earnings are key on October 23rd and watch this space for a replacement for Vernon hill.

Reabold Resources (RBD) - Average Purchase Price 0.94p Current Shares price 0.9-0.95p

RBD successfully raised £24 million at 0.9p this week, only a 12.5 discount to the prevailing market price to develop the West Newton field (17% share for UJO). The fact that the company got away the placing in this difficult market for AIM oil and gas speaks volumes. Lots of news flow for West Newton, extended well test and Competent Persons report to confirm volumetrics and once flow test completed, reserves.

Other recent trades

Woodford Patient capital investment trust - one week trade at loss (fortunate timing before yesterday’s bad news) https://contrarianinvestor.net/posts/2019/10/15/woodford-asset-mananagement-to-close-equity-income-fund

Short S&P 500 - closed, too much good earnings news and Brexit, china deal headwind. Will revisit as S&P hits all-time highs of 3000.

British American Tobacco - Day trade as shares fell to 2600-2700p range as most earnings in foreign currency and £ rising.

Watching

Hurricane Energy, Imperial, BAT, I3E, Petro Matad, VAST.