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Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Ascent Resources Plc LSE:AST London Ordinary Share GB00BJVH7905 ORD 0.5P
  Price Change % Change Share Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -0.10 -2.06% 4.75 1,610,000 13:41:02
Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price
4.70 4.80 4.85 4.70 4.85
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Oil & Gas Producers -2.83 -4.66 5
Last Trade Time Trade Type Trade Size Trade Price Currency
13:40:23 O 10,000 4.70 GBX

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DateSubject
22/6/2021
09:20
Ascent Resources Daily Update: Ascent Resources Plc is listed in the Oil & Gas Producers sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker AST. The last closing price for Ascent Resources was 4.85p.
Ascent Resources Plc has a 4 week average price of 4.70p and a 12 week average price of 4.65p.
The 1 year high share price is 15.75p while the 1 year low share price is currently 1.88p.
There are currently 109,376,804 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 172,636 shares. The market capitalisation of Ascent Resources Plc is £5,195,398.19.
07/6/2021
16:55
terminator101: More collapse in the share price at descent resources huh.
02/4/2021
15:03
chinese investor: A week or so ago, Ascent reported news from the Government of Slovenia that it had failed to set forward a damages proposal and confirmed that an amicable settlement wasn’t achievable at this time. This means that Ascent will be moving ahead to commence arbitration proceedings shortly. At this juncture, it should be pointed out that as part of direct pre-arbitration settlement discussions the company had submitted a damages calculation to the State which was well in excess of €100 million – so we are talking about big bucks here. It was in July 2020 that Ascent formally notified the Government of Slovenia of the existence of disputes under both the UK-Slovenia Bilateral Investment Treaty and the Energy Charter Treaty. Basically, issuing such a Notice of Dispute triggers a mandatory minimum three month ‘cooling-off’ period, which is designed to allow the parties to try and resolve their dispute ahead of arbitration proceedings. Ninety days later, in late-October 2020, the company announced that it was entering into direct negotiations with the Slovenian government, with a view to potentially settling the claim in an amicable manner (which we see to be important language). In late-February 2021 the State asked Ascent to delay initiating arbitration proceedings until 19th March 2021. Well, this might be disappointing, but the company has been highly consistent in setting out the roadmap/newsflow concerning Slovenia. The latest couple of presentations have clearly shown the plan to bring pre-arbitration settlement talks to a head in Q1 2021. The funding of international arbitration claims has been well dealt in a past RNS, but sensibly the board did not progress litigation funding talks while these amicable discussions were ongoing with the Slovenian government or they might receive a large unnecessary bill. So, as we see it, Ascent is continuing to pursue its well-flagged strategy of moving to initiate international arbitration proceedings in Q2 2021. International arbitration is a well-defined process with a structure that the Slovenian government must take part in. A lot of this case seems to be about the speed that Slovenia responds to these deadlines and perhaps now an amicable settlement can be reached by stick rather than by carrot. The truth is that Slovenia has a track record of settling when these cases move into arbitration. It must also be remembered that Ascent is no longer a one project company. The new management team at the helm has worked quickly to bring in rapidly expanding interests in Cuban onshore oil along with an expected move into the ESG metals space. Joe Biden might have taken over the Presidency of the USA in a somewhat quiet fashion, but his victory looks set to ease Cuban sanctions. Biden had been promising a new Cuba policy and on the campaign trial he really highlighted his ambitions to promote human rights in Cuba and empower that country’s people to determine their own future. It has to be said that Cuba represents one of the few remaining world-class yet largely unexploited hydrocarbon systems. In this country, the company has a highly compelling opportunity which includes six separate PSCs spread across four blocks which cover some 7,000km². Entry into Cuba has tremendous potential in our view and looks like Ascent is on the verge of being awarded operator status. Once that is in place, it looks as though the market might really begin to learn about the size of the prize in the vast onshore licence area where Ascent is negotiating access to a highly prospective area of Cuba. At the moment, Ascent have teams doing desk top studies on these licence areas for the field development plan. Last month saw Ascent adding the prospect of ESG Metals as a new target sector within its resource focused business. ESG Metals is all about secondary mining and recovery opportunities which are consistent with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles. So here we are talking about the reprocessing of tailings where it is thought that revenue could be generated within 4-9 months of getting involved. The big attraction of such ESG Metals is that these retreating tailings projects often come with extensive infrastructure. This is already a big sunk cost (so low capex) and of course low geological/mining risks because the material has already been mined and there are often decent records of what has gone onto the tailings pile or into the tailings dam. Due to the history of Cuba over the last 50-70 years, the country has only had rudimentary processing technology and so there is apparently an abundance of tailings opportunities which could be at some quite decent grades. Apparently, the team is already sieving through projects in a variety of places including Latin America and Europe. Top of the list seem to be opportunities in gold, silver, platinum, base metals and ferrochrome, because here there are powerful economics with the chance of production costs being in the lowest quartile from sustainable metal production from legacy mining tailings. We already know that the board has signed several new non-binding letters of intent in the battery metals mining space with either vehicles owned or backed by the Cuban government. At this stage it is worth noting that Cuba has the fifth largest nickel resources in the world. We initiated coverage on Ascent with a Conviction Buy stance and a target price of 18.34p in mid-September 2020 when the shares were trading at 3.25p. That target price was solely based on possible Petišovci scenarios where we looked at the two alternative scenarios of either litigation or development, with both outcomes being thoroughly risked. The stock was merrily sitting at above the 10p mark but since the update on the Slovenian direct settlement discussions it has been under pressure, which we see as a renewed buying opportunity and as evidenced by our moving back above 10% last week.
27/3/2021
09:31
chinese investor: British company Ascent Resources had major gas extraction plans in Prekmurje years ago. These did not materialise, because together with its Slovenian partner, The Company Geoenergo owned by Petrol, they never got a permit to extract gas by using the fracking method in a field in Petišovci. The British have been threatening to sue using the International Court of Arbitration since last year. They are now demanding €120 million in compensation from the Slovenian state, according to the information. Meanwhile, in strict secrecy, talks are already underway on a possible settlement. The British represented by lawyer Miro Senica have been pressing for a deal in recent weeks. The lawsuit for alleged economic damage and the loss of planned revenues is ready to be withdrawn if Slovenia pays them around 25 million euros. The opportunity to earn at the expense of the Slovenian state has already been missed by speculators, who were buying larger packages of Ascent Resources shares in recent months due to information about a possible settlement. Official information on talks between the country and the British cannot be obtained. "As negotiations with the search for a negotiated solution to the dispute are still ongoing, we are unable to answer your questions regarding the amount, the date of filing of the claim, the expected date of the decision and the conduct of the Republic of Slovenia at this stage of the procedure" they explained at the State Attorney General's Office, which represents the Republic of Slovenia in the case. But behind the scenes, it's been tumultuous for weeks. As they have been informally known, the settlement proposal is strongly opposed by the international law firm Clifford Chance, which was hired by the state attorney general to assist in the case. In their legal opinion, the British people's chances of success in the Court of Arbitration were deemed poor. According to the foreign lawyers, they failed to prove the alleged breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty and the investment agreement with Great Britain, which are the basis for bringing the action. Officials from a special group, which prepares professional bases in environmental and mining law, international law and other fields, are also of the same opinion. However, there have been signals from the Slovenian government recently that possible settlements cannot be excluded. On the 11th of February, Janez Janše appointed a coordinator to report to her on what was happening. The coordinator was Blaž Kohorok, State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure and former first husband of the holding of The Slovenian Power Plant (HSE). The government has not informed the public. Kohorok declined to comment on the talks with the British, but did not rule out the possibility of a settlement. Why not if Slovenia has an opinion of an international law firm on its desk, which strongly advises against it? "The process is ongoing. He's run by the state attorney general on our side. Slovenia has hired domestic and foreign experts working on the matter. In any case, the possible international consequences must also be considered before making a decision," Kosher said. His words could be confirmed by unofficial information that there is also strong diplomatic pressure behind the scenes. What is his personal position on the deal with the British, Kosher refused to disclose. Kohorok denies knowing about the British offer before the official appointment. A year ago, though, it seemed that the British were in a lost position. The value of Ascent Resources shares has reached rock bottom due to a failure to obtain gas extraction licences in Prekmurje. The management of the company, which for some time did not have the money, was replaced, nor did it bring a lawsuit against Slovenia. But then there was a turnaround. Last spring, a €3 million lawsuit was brought by Ascent Resources to help an unidentified financier who has not been revealed by the British to date. The company then hired a London law firm to inform the Slovenian government of its intention to file a lawsuit in July last year. In October, Ascent Resources announced that they had begun negotiating a friendly settlement with the Republic of Slovenia directly. At the same time, new owners entered the company. A share package was thus purchased by Spreadex which is a sports betting company. Other shareholders also noted that it was a speculative purchase. The only way for new shareholders to earn their input is a settlement agreement in Slovenia. In the meantime, the demands of the British people have increased sharply. On the same day that the government appointed Kosher as coordinator on 11 February, it received a new damage assessment from Ascent Resources. It was commissioned by the economist Aleš Ahčan and Mitja Slevec of CSA svetovanje, which in the last year generated 115,000 euros of transactions with public contracting authorities, most of which were air traffic control of Slovenia and HSE (even at the time it was led by Stojan Nikolić). In a document labelled "confidential", Ahčan and Slevec found that the British had around €50 million in costs by investing in Slovenia and suffered a further 70 million lost profits. In total, they had €120 million in damages. Kohorok denies knowing about the British offer before the official appointment, according to sources Necenzurirano.si. But he confirmed that he had been in contact with Miro Senica. "I thought it was right to inform him of his appointment as coordinator. I have informed both the state attorneys general and minister Jerneja Vrtovc of this," Kosher stressed. Just days after the British sent an assessment of the damage to the government, individuals on British online forums apparently knew more. They said Ascent Resources is on track to enter into a settlement in Slovenia, which will bring in around £20 million to the company, around €23 million. That's very close to the number from Mira Senica's proposal. Sources Necenzurirano.si that the British people want to increase the pressure on the Slovenian side with inflated damage valuations. In their assessment, Ahčan and Slevec took into account the expected revenues of Ascent Resources in Petišovci for the next 20 years, even though that company would not have been the holder of the concession at all but would have been owned by its partner, Geoenergo, owned by Petrol. This was contracted with Ascent Slovenia, which is registered in Malta and is owned by British Ascent Resources. The British have still not provided clear evidence of how much money they have invested in the revival of gas wells in Pomurje. In any case, they will have to do so in the international court of arbitration. Their main argument in the lawsuit is alleged political interference by the Slovenian Government in proceedings at the Environment Agency. As is well known, the former Minister for Environment and Spatial Planning, Jure Leben, has already faced a coup by the board of Ascent Resources in November 2018 for introducing extraordinary controls on the extraction of gas extraction licences in Petišovci. The Environment Agency had already issued a preliminary opinion a few months earlier that Geoenergo and Ascent Resources should have carried out an environmental impact assessment (EIA). Their decision was also upheld by the Administrative Court last year.
25/3/2021
11:45
epo001: More: There is clearly no goodwill here so it is down to enforceability. What if AST want arbitration and Slovenia doesn't? If they win will there be a single payment or a series? If a series what do they have to do to enforce payment? Imagine a future in which there is a 3 month court case for each missed monthly payment. Given that things have sunk so low, what are the future prospects for AST in Slovenia? If AST lose arbitration, presumably none. If AST win then relations will hardly be cordial, so what future for having bills paid? So it seems the only good prospect for AST in Slovenia is to win arbitration, get paid and then sell their rights or walk away? (Next time I'll do more homework before making a punt.)
18/3/2021
15:10
nhs buyer: These thoughts are based on a Settlement as follows: €20-25million plus all permits required to re-stimulate the wells. (3-4 years ago while waiting for permits to re-stimulate and build a small processing plant onsite the share price was trading in the range of 2.5-3p - pre-consolidation, now that would equate to 250-300p) (the permit to build the processing plant was granted the others required were not) Now to today if AST is granted substantial compensation and the stimulation permits required along with new 5yr term (till 2026). Then this is quite possible: 1) AST will be able to stimulate the wells to obtain the maximum output possible. 2) AST will have the funds to build the small required processing plant on-site, once completed they will be able to sell gas into Slovenian grid. Compared to 3 yrs ago AST would of had to raise/or borrow the approx €10m to build the plant. (Note: I will take 1yr-18months to build the plant). 3) The value of the asset in the ground has risen by at least 50% in the last 3/4 years. In 2017 it was reported to be worth €200million so now it’s €300million plus. 4) While the processing plant is constructed, AST will be able to sell substantially more raw gas to INA at a higher price than ever before, possibly creating a profit above operating costs. 5) AST will have funds to progress the Cuba project and any others it’s considering without further dilution of the share price or borrowing from a bank/financial institution. 6) AST will be 100% debt free, and will repay Align any recent drawdowns on its loan facility. So baring all that in mind I can easily see within 6-12 months from the settlement being agreed that the MCAP of AST could get to at least £100million, which would equate to a share price of 92p. Thoughts on the above from other fellow LTH always appreciated!
08/3/2021
17:56
chinese investor: The British company Ascent Resources had big plans for pumping gas in Prekmurje years ago. These did not materialize because, together with a Slovenian partner, the company Geoenergo owned by Petrol, it never obtained a permit for the extraction of gas by the method of hydraulic fracturing in the field in Petišovci. The British have therefore been threatening to file a lawsuit in an arbitration court since last year. Now, according to our information, they are demanding 120 million euros in compensation from the Slovenian state. Meanwhile, talks on a possible settlement are already underway in strict secrecy. The deadline for the deal is March 19th. According to our information, the British, represented by lawyer Miro Senica, have been pushing for an agreement in recent weeks. They are ready to withdraw the lawsuit due to the alleged economic damage and the loss of planned revenues if our country pays them around 25 million euros. The opportunity to make money at the expense of the Slovenian state has already been sensed by speculators, who have been buying larger stakes in Ascent Resources in recent months due to information about a possible settlement. Official information on talks between the country and the British cannot be obtained. "Since negotiations are still ongoing with the search for an amicable settlement of the dispute, which are still confidential, we cannot answer your questions regarding the amount, the date of filing the claim, the expected date of the decision and the Republic of Slovenia's actions at this stage," they explained (the State Attorney's Office, which represents the Republic of Slovenia) But behind the scenes, it’s been turbulent for weeks. As we have learned unofficially, the settlement proposal is strongly opposed by the international law firm Clifford Chance, which was hired by the state attorney's office to help with the case. In the legal opinion, the chances of the British to succeed in the arbitral tribunal were assessed as poor. According to foreign lawyers, they failed to prove the alleged violations of the energy charter agreement and the investment agreement with Great Britain, which are the basis for filing a lawsuit. The same opinion is shared by officials from a special inter-ministerial group that prepares expert bases for the State Attorney's Office in environmental and mining legislation, international law and other areas. Nevertheless, signals have been coming from the Slovenian government recently that do not rule out a possible settlement. On 11 February, the government of Janez Janša appointed a coordinator to report on the situation. This became Blaž Košorok , State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure and former first husband of Holding Slovenske elektrarne (HSE). The government did not inform the public about this. As agreed with Slovenian partners, Ascent Resources owns up to 75 percent of the revenues generated by gas extraction in the area of ​​the Mura Depression in Petišovci. Košorok did not want to comment on the talks with the British, but he does not rule out the possibility of a settlement in advance. Why not, if Slovenia has the opinion of an international law firm on the table, which strongly advises against it? "The procedure is still ongoing. On our side, it is led by the state attorney's office. Slovenia has hired domestic and foreign experts working on the case. In any case, possible international consequences must be considered before making a decision," Košorok told us. His words could confirm unofficial information that there is also strong diplomatic pressure behind it. Košorok did not want to reveal his personal position on the agreement with the British. They are checking suspicions of irregularities in gas permits in Prekmurje. Until a year ago, the British seemed to be in a losing position. The value of Ascent Resources shares has bottomed out due to the failure to obtain permits for gas extraction in Prekmurje. The management of the company was replaced, which for some time did not even have the money to file a lawsuit against Slovenia. But then there was a reversal. Last spring, an unknown financier came to Ascent Resources with three million euros to file a lawsuit, which the British have not disclosed to date. The company then hired a law firm from London, which notified the Slovenian government in July last year of the planned lawsuit. In October, Ascent Resources announced that they had begun direct negotiations with the Republic of Slovenia on an amicable settlement of the dispute. At the same time, new owners began to enter the company. For example, a larger package of shares was bought by Spreadex, a sports betting company. Other shareholders also noted that it was a speculative purchase. The only possibility for new shareholders to earn with their contribution is a settlement agreement in Slovenia. The value of the Ascent Resources share has risen sharply in recent months. Primarily due to the announcement of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Slovenia. In the meantime, the demands of the British increased sharply. On the same day that the government appointed Košorok as coordinator, on February 11, it received a new damage assessment from Ascent Resources. On behalf of the Senica Law Firm, it was carried out by economists Aleš Ahčan and Mitja Slevec from the company CSA. Ahčan and Slevec found that the British had spent around 50 million euros in costs with the investment in Slovenia and suffered another 70 million in lost profits. Together, they therefore suffered 120 million euros in damages.
04/3/2021
22:22
nash81: nicely said by Ivan in LSE: those who have done research knows that Slovenia have avoided 2 recent litigations with other companies and paid them all. Slovenia does not have strong desire to get it prolong in court and damaging their reputation. not to mention high court cost as well as Slovenia do not have strong case to defend. what even more encouraging, is that Slovenie agreed to discuss out of court settlement with AST. and yes, who said AST cant afford expensive legal battle? we already have lawyer line up for no win no fees basis if i recall. you can read more here: hxxps://www.alignresearch.co.uk/ascent-resources/ascent-resources-bit-claim-slovenia-seems-keen-settle-cases/ and google it yourself rather than listening to derampers here who try to install doubt to your investment in AST. Golden rule, derampers never turn up on a bad stock, where were they this time last year when the share price was 3p and only 2 posts a day?
09/2/2021
17:24
wrestlingmad: As a LTH in AST from pre-consolidation days of 2017/18 and suffering like a lot of other LTH with large paper losses (especially after consolidation) I thought I’d look back as where AST was back then and compare it to now to see what the potential is now for both LTH to recover losses and new investors to make some money. 2017/18 At the highs of this period the share price was around 3p (300p equivalent now). We were waiting for permits to land to re stimulate the wells and build a processing plant onsite to enable the sale of gas directly into the Slovenia grid. We had a contract to sell raw gas to INA in Croatia while the process was being followed. At this time the ‘asset’ as in gas in the ground was valued at circa €200million. We all know that the re-stimulation permits were not granted and the share price dropped dramatically other things (such as tools down wells) also caused the share price to drop. What AST did get is the IPPC permit for the processing plant. So if this is still valid they do have that. Then the 100-1 consolidation happened, new board and the legal challenge started... Feb 2021 So where are we now in comparison: Current share price 14p Value of asset has increased from €200m to circa €400m due to gas price increases over past 3 years. New Contract to sell raw gas to INA (possibly at much higher prices than before) once current pressure testing completed. €20-€40million in compensation pending from Slovenian government. Re-stimulation permits for current wells could be awarded as part of settlement. IPPC permit already in hand (if still valid) so on-site processing plant can be built. Pressure in wells increases naturally over time and they have been closed for nearly 14months, so current pressures could be higher than the pre Dec 2019 closure, so more gas to sell. Cuba - the new unknown project so AST is no longer a one trick pony anymore. Recent news that Cuba is open for business to companies outside Cuba can only help this project develop in coming months/years. Finally - Settlement from Slovenia (TBC of course) should be enough to cover the cost of building the processing plant and to further advance the Cuba project without any further financing/placings being required, therefore no further dilution to the share price Factoring all the above and if news in next few weeks is as expected then surely a share price of 100-150p is achievable in the medium term (1-1.5p in pre-consolidation money!) That’s still only 50% of where we were when waiting for permits in 2018 on the back of an asset worth €200m and no money to build the processing plant. I hope these observations help LTH & new investors alike. Other LTH’s opinions always appreciated. I’m not trying to to ramp the share price but point out that the fundamentals are there for a sustainable rise over the medium term.
01/12/2020
07:15
johncasey: good news RNS Number : 0195H Ascent Resources PLC 01 December 2020 1 December 2020 Ascent Resources plc ("Ascent" or the "Company") New Funding Ascent Resources Plc (LON: AST) the onshore Caribbean, Hispanic American and European focussed energy and natural resources company, is pleased to announce it has secured a new GBP500,000 loan facility. New Funding As announced on 29 October 2020, following a restructuring of the Company's balance sheet and historic obligations, the Company has a current debt balance of GBP270,020 , which is due for maturity in February 2022. The Company continues to make progress with its Cuban interests, Slovenian asset and claims under the Energy Charter Treaty and UK Slovenia Bilateral Investment Treaty as well as execution of its Special Situations Strategy. To facilitate further progress whilst minimising equity dilution, the Company has signed a loan agreement arranged and managed by Align Research Limited ("Align") to provide, in aggregate, GBP500,000 through an unsecured loan facility ("Loan Facility" or "Loan") provided equally by Align and RiverFort Global Opportunities PCC Ltd ("Lenders"). The Loan Facility, which is aimed at minimising dilution to shareholders at current prices, provides for the loan to be drawn down in four tranches of GBP125,000 each on the first business day of January, February, March and April 2021 respectively. The Loan plus a fixed coupon of 8% is repayable in full, at the election of the Lenders, either in cash or in shares at 7.5 pence per share (41.5% premium to the closing bid price on 30 November), on 31 December 2021 (the "Repayment Date"). The only exception to this will be where the Lenders request part or all of the Loan and any coupon to be utilised as consideration in paying for the warrants. Issue of 7.5p Warrants As part of the Loan Facility, the Company will issue a total of 6,666,666 warrants to the Lenders (the "Warrants"). The Warrants are exercisable by paying a cash price of 7.5 pence per warrant share (a 41.5% premium to the closing bid price on 30 November) , or at the future placing price of any subsequent fundraise during the first 12 months of the Warrants being issued, if lower than 7.5 pence. The Warrants expire three years from the signing of the Loan agreement. In the event the Company announces that it has reached an amicable settlement agreement with the Republic of Slovenia relating to its ECT claim on or before the 31 January 2021 then any undrawn balance of the loan shall be cancelled and on a pro rata basis up to half of any Warrants outstanding may be cancellable by the Company. Drawdown of Final GBP100,000 Existing Loan Facility and Exercise of Existing Warrants Additionally, the Company has drawn down the final tranche of GBP100,000 under the previous loan facility and Align has simultaneously exercised the attached warrants ("Exercised Warrants") which were previously announced on the 6 August 2020. Align is therefore being issued with 4,000,000 Exercised Warrants shares and 320,000 Loan Coupon shares and has voluntarily agreed to a 3 months lock in on these new shares. Issue of Equity & TVR The Company has also agreed to issue 480,000 ordinary shares at 7.5 pence per share ("Supplier Shares") in respect of GBP36,000 invoice retaining Align for a twelve months research services. These shares are subject to a lock in period of 3 months. The issue of the Supplier Shares, the Exercised Warrants shares and the Loan Coupon shares are being carried out within the Company's existing share authority to issue ordinary shares for cash. Application will be made to the London Stock Exchange for the Supplier Shares, the Exercised Warrants shares and the Loan Coupon shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and it is expected that the Supplier Shares, the Exercised Warrants shares and the Loan Coupon shares will be admitted to trading on AIM at 8.00 a.m. on or around 7 December 2020. In accordance with the provision of the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules of the Financial Conduct Authority, the Company confirms that, following the issue of the Supplier Shares, Exercised Warrants shares, Loan Coupon shares and shares issued during the month under the Company's existing block admission, its issued ordinary share capital will comprise of 95,283,281 ordinary shares. All of the ordinary shares have equal voting rights and none of the ordinary shares are held in Treasury. The total number of voting rights in the Company will therefore be 95,283,281. The above figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations to determine if they are required to notify their interests in, or change to their interest in, the Company. Andrew Dennan, the Company's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "We are pleased to have secured this flexible funding solution as we continue to progress our discussions in Slovenia alongside our growth initiatives across Cuba and multiple broader Special Situations. This is an important time for Ascent and this funding will help facilitate those key workstreams as we look to progress activities right across the portfolio." Enquiries:
22/11/2020
06:08
johncasey: Blog Search... Search ASCENT RESOURCES – BIDEN’S VICTORY LOOKS SET TO EASE CUBAN SANCTIONS November 10, 2020 | Posted by admin By Dr. Michael Green If you are seeking an undervalued stock that is set to benefit from the election of Joe Biden as US President then look no further than Ascent Resources. Joe Biden has been promising a new Cuba policy. He reckons that the approach of the Trump administration has not been working and points out that Cuba is no closer to freedom and democracy than it was four years ago. Biden claims to have stood for democracy and human rights throughout his career and has also taken on dictators whether they be on the left or the right. On the campaign trial he has made no secret of his ambitions to promote human rights in Cuba and empower the country’s people to determine their own future, which is central to the national security interests of the United States. Biden was Vice President during the Obama era. Back in those days, Barack Obama threw Cuba a lifeline and his visit to that country in 2016 was something akin to the visit from the Pope as he was the first US President to step foot on Cuban soil in almost a century. Biden has stated that he would restore much of Obama’s policy of engagement with the Castro regime. So, we can visualise a reduction in sanctions and increase in international investment going into the country. In Cuba, Ascent seems to be sitting pretty. The latest news from over there is that the company has submitted an application to become an operator. This move concerns onshore producing block 9B and onshore blocks 9A, 12 and 15 in Cuba which Ascent added to its asset portfolio following the arrival of the new management team earlier on this year. Recent announcements from the company also suggest that negotiations on Production Sharing Contracts for these blocks were planned to kick off fairly soon. Ascent’s focus on Cuba should be seen as really big news. Oil experts all know that Cuba actually represents one of the few remaining world-class yet largely unexploited hydrocarbon systems. In the country, the company has a highly compelling opportunity which includes six separate PSCs spread across four blocks which cover some 7,000km². The entry into Cuba has tremendous potential in our view and over the coming months Ascent is likely to gain operator status. Once that is in place, it looks as though the market might really begin to learn about the size of the prize in the vast onshore licence area where Ascent is negotiating access to a highly prospective area of Cuba. The deals provide an attractive mix of development, appraisal and exploration potential which give Ascent a nice balance of opportunities right across the whole cycle. But it does look like there could be even more Cuban action on the cards. In search of appealing Specials Sits plays, we know that the management is happy to diversify away from oil and gas. Once again, the management team will be looking for further such plays which offer a unique balance of risk and reward. Well it looks as though the team will be again tapping into its enviable deal flow from Cuba. There has not been a much hotter trend than battery metals for a while now. These full scale moves into electric vehicles and the whole energy storage market are creating a vast spectrum of opportunities. There has already been news that the board had signed a number of new non-binding letters of intent in the battery metals mining space with either vehicles owned or backed by the Cuban government. At this stage it is worth pointing out that Cuba has the fifth largest nickel resources in the world. At the same time, Ascent seems to have successfully brought the Government of the Republic of Slovenia to the negotiating table concerning the company’s unfair treatment in that country. Ascent has invested more than €50 million in the Petisovci field which has been allegedly damaged by the government’s action or inaction. Basically, disputes have arisen under the UK – Slovenia bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). In July 2020, Ascent submitted a Notice of Dispute which got the legals going. Last month the company confirmed that it is entering into direct negotiations with the Republic of Slovenia. The hope is that Ascent could potentially settle the claim in an amicable manner before the end of 2020. Just in case this is some cunning stalling tactic, the company would be looking to move ahead pursue its investment treaty claim under the BIT and ECT. To this end, when last heard the team were continuing to secure litigation funding to proceed with international arbitration, if a settlement is not be reached. We are quite happy about how matters are progressing at Ascent. We initiated coverage on the stock with a Conviction Buy stance and a target price of 18.34p in mid-September 2020 when the shares were trading at 3.25p. That target price was solely based on possible Petišovci scenarios where we looked at the two alternative scenarios – litigation and development. The lower valuation of these two alternative was chosen which was in fact the litigation path where we made an educated estimate of the amount that might be awarded by the court and the time period until payment – all of which was risked. Now with the stock sitting 67% higher at 5.45p, we are pleased to reconfirm our stance. DISCLOSURE & RISK WARNING Ascent Resources is a research client of Align Research. Align Research owns shares in Ascent Resources. Full details of our Company & Personal Account Dealing Policy can be found on our website hxxp://www.alignresearch.co.uk/legal/ This is a marketing communication and cannot be considered independent research nor is it subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of its dissemination. Nothing in this report should be construed as advice, an offer, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell securities by us. As we have no knowledge of your individual situation and circumstances the investment(s) covered may not be suitable for you. You should not make any investment decision without consulting a fully qualified financial advisor. Your capital is at risk by investing in securities and the income from them may fluctuate. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and forecasts are not a reliable indicator of future results. The marketability of some of the companies we cover is limited and you may have difficulty buying or selling in volume. Additionally, given the smaller capitalisation bias of our coverage, the companies we cover should be considered as high risk This financial promotion has been approved by Align Research Limited
Ascent Resources share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange
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