Interesting week for fraud enthusiasts
Macro & Overnight
A tighter oil supply is pushing up against a backdrop of increasing fears regarding economic growth. Oil prices rose on Friday but remained at the low end of their recent trading range as Russia announced output cuts. Other OPEC+ members have no plans to boost production to offset the reduction. China’s reopening is offsetting slower western demand.
For fraud enthusiasts, there is a welcome relief from stories of FTX and SBF as the former Wirecard boss Markus Braun takes the stand in one of Germany’s biggest-ever fraud trials. He and two co-defendants face charges of forming a criminal gang, falsifying the Group’s balance sheets and cheating lenders out of EUR3.1 bn. Braun is planning to make a statement lasting two to three hours in the Munich Regional Court before being questioned by the judges.
UK Company News
In-game advertising provider Bidstack updated on trading and its issues with Azerion. Following Azerion’s actions, Bidstack does not expect to recognise any amounts ultimately paid by Azerion in respect of its FY23 and FY24. However, its operational update gave reassurance that the business can grow regardless. With a network of premium developers and publishers, over 250 titles recognised and new standards for in-game advertising Bidstack struck an optimistic tone. The Company expects FY23 revenue to increase more than previously expected, for the Group’s revenue to be significantly greater than FY22 and materially weighted to the year’s second half.
Logistics group DX made a statement regarding an article in the Sunday Times that is ultimately subject to litigation.
FRP Advisory, the specialist business advisory firm, reported continued progress in Q4. The volume of work in the higher value restructuring and administration market is still to recover to pre-Covid levels. Yet, the Group expects increased activity in these areas during 2023. It also cited higher borrowing costs driving more enquiries into FRP for restructuring assignments. The Board expects the FY outcome to be broadly in line with consensus.
Online security company Kape revealed an offer for Company. Having turned down an earlier approach from the Teddy Sagi vehicle at 265p, the Independent Directors did agree to a non-disclosure agreement with Unikmind on its revised proposal of 285p. In light of the stated intention of Unikmind to seek a delisting of the Company regardless of the outcome of the offer and the ability of Unikmind to acquire further Kape shares without constraint once the NDA Standstill expires, the Independent Directors believe that it was in the interests of shareholders for the Company to allow Unikmind’s proposal to be presented to Kape shareholders for their consideration.
NB Prices are as at the previous day’s close.
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