Silly Season thread - AEX

Tuesday, Aug 03 2010 by

Yet another busy day in terms of volume for Aminex (LON:AEX) . The natural guess is that JP Morgan have been offloading a few more, on top of the 7m they've shifted since the big volume day (and spike in the share price) a week or so ago.

What's intriguing is that someone is obviously very happy to pick up this stock, else the SP would have tanked. No holding declarations about a new holder though but then again, 7m, plus other buys since then could mean they've picked up 10m or so and not need a declaration.

Even more intriguing is that I've been contacted by brokers, asking if I knew of any reason for the surge in volume and price - I don't and neither were they able to offer any reason/rumour.

So what's going on?

The big surge happened well after the rns for the spudding of OM-10 so possibly not related to that then? As it happens, I'm really quite bullish when it comes to our US ops.

So we come to Silly Season - could someone be considering an offer or something with regard to Aminex? Let's face it, one area that's "hot" right now is East Africa and Aex has a sizeable acreage - Nyuni, Ruvuma etc. So let's have some fun. Who might be interested in little old Aminex?

The obvious "problem" is the spread of ops - USA and Tanzania (I'm not going to include Egypt and DPRK). That spread may not appeal to many. However, here's some "starters":

President Petroleum (LON:PPC) - small, backing of Peter Levine (ex Imperial Energy), who bought a 29.9% stake in the old Meridien Petroleum and changed it to PPC. Currently split US and Australia but a "transformational" deal has yet to occur. They've got ops in Louisiana (just increased them in fact - see RNS) that are producing but no sign of the transformational deal. Looking at their website, I'd say that aex's Tanz operations would fit their "mission statement". With PL's backing, financing a deal wouldn't be hard.

Global Petroleum (LON:GBP) - well known to many here. A pile of cash with the US Leighton ops, Malta and the rump exposure to TRP's Uganda play. Again, could see a deal to be done there - US and E Africa.

Moving up the scale somewhat, how about someone who could afford Aex with a few weeks worth of cashflow. Someone with very big acreage in East Africa, in fact, the acreage across the river? Yep, Anadarko. The fit in terms of acreage is v good - Ruvuma/rovuma and the offshore acreage where Cove Energy (LON:COV) is the partner.

If E Africa is "just" gas then gas aggregation to achieve critical mass for LNG is needed. Ironclad, Windjammer, Nyuni, West Songo Songo - it all adds up. Only slight problem is the "small" matter of a certain well in the GoM......

Cove Energy (LON:COV) is another choice but would they want anything to do with AEX US?

Interesting thought is that if we see a failure in OM-10, will the SP fall so low as to give the opportunity of a cheeky takeout offer?

So there's a few starters. This is, as I've said, a Silly Season thread and also done to see how a long new thread with a few whistles comes out posting via the new mobile version of S'pedia. Feel free to laugh and post away.

Filed Under: Oil,


The opinions expressed by the author are those made by him personally as an individual and not in any professional capacity. 

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Aminex PLC is a United Kingdom-based gas and oil production, development and exploration company. The Company focuses on its licenses in Tanzania, including Kiliwani North Field, Ruvuma and Nyuni area acreage. The Kiliwani North Field is independently ascribed with approximately 30 billion cubic feet (BCF) gross contingent resource and focuses on producing dry clean gas under high natural pressure (over 1,600 per square inch (psi)) from the Neocomian late Cretaceous reservoir. The Ruvuma acreage includes Ntorya-1 onshore Cretaceous gas discovery, which is independently ascribed with approximately 70 BCF gross contingent resource in the Ruvuma Basin. The Nyuni Area acreage offers high impact exploration and is ascribed with approximately 4.2 trillion cubic feet (TCF) prospective resource. It also holds royalty interest in Egypt. more »

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President Energy PLC is engaged in the exploration for and the evaluation and production of oil and gas. Its segment includes the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. The Company has oil and gas production in two geographical markets: the United States and Argentina. It has exploration assets in Paraguay, Argentina, the United States and Australia. In Paraguay, it has interest in the Pirity Block, the Demattei Block and the Hernandarias Block. It holds working interest in the CNO-8 Puesto Guardian license, and over two exploration license areas (Matorras and Ocultar) surrounding Puesto Guardian in Salta Province, Argentina. It has interests in approximately two producing oil and gas fields in Louisiana, as operator of the East Lake Verret field and as a partner in the East White Lake field. It also has an interest PEL 82 in South Australia. more »

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Global Petroleum Limited is an Australia-based oil and gas, upstream exploration company, which focuses on Africa and the Mediterranean. The principal activities of the Company consist of oil and gas exploration, development and production. The Company's principal assets are two exploration blocks located offshore Namibia. The Company's project includes Namibian Project. The Namibian Project holds interest in petroleum exploration license number 29 (License) covering Offshore Blocks 1910B and 2010A in the Republic of Namibia. The License covers approximately 11,730 square kilometers and it is located offshore Namibia in water depths ranging from 1,300 meters to 3,000 meters. It intends to seek license positions in frontier exploration areas in Africa and the Mediterranean, and potentially other frontier basins, either directly through license rounds, joint venture arrangements or acquisition. Its subsidiaries include Global Petroleum UK Limited and Jupiter Petroleum Limited. more »

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29 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

moniclub 10th Aug '10 10 of 29

And, if we're getting really silly, Dubai-based Black Marlin Energy has an interesting collection of East African interests, for anyone trying to build a position under the nose of the majors:

Is this the same Black Marlin that was bought out by Afren on 2 June, thereby proving your point? :-)


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D1G3Y 10th Aug '10 11 of 29

Or perhaps the market has woken up to the real value of the US assets and the rest of the Aminex portfolio.......

Too far?.....

I'll get my coat!

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ManSiarad 11th Aug '10 12 of 29


you're right, of course.

Is this the same Black Marlin that was bought out by Afren on 2 June, thereby proving your point? :-)

That'll teach me to stay awake at the back of the class....

Man Siarad

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DearLeader 11th Aug '10 13 of 29

re. the large number of shares changing hands over the past few weeks, should we not be about to get an RNS anyway (especially after yesterdays volume) relating to who it is that is accumulating them as previously speculated?

...and have KEY sold their stake in Nyuni now?


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REO100 11th Aug '10 14 of 29

In reply to DearLeader, post #13

If they have sold it is going to be unpopular judging by PI comments on HC, there seems to be a realisation this is their quality asset. Not knowing KEY well but with their activities in the UK, Italy (on hold) and new interest in Perth, they seem to have quite a cash requirement - so it looks like they decided to put Nyuni under the hammer. It seems surprising as this area is more under the spotlight than ever, but obviously KEY management have other ideas.


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marben100 11th Aug '10 15 of 29

In reply to REO100, post #14

If they have sold for cash, that will give a rather interesting reference price for Aminex's Nyuni acreage. Knowledge of that (if it's good! - or if the acquirer is a respected "name") could even be what's driving this surge...

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REO100 11th Aug '10 16 of 29

In reply to marben100, post #15

There does seem to be something going on in the background, looking at the recent volume it looks like JPM are reducing, but there is obviously a buyer.  I am aware of the excitement on 0M-10, but I would hope it may be Nyuni related - what were those words at the AGM on the upgraded pipeline - I am 100% certain - it's just a matter of when !


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djpreston 13th Aug '10 17 of 29

Well there's the JPM RNS - down to 5.5% or 23.6m shares.

Yet another very strong day in terms of trades though. 9.4m so far today (on LSE) and decent sizes too - 1 of 2m at 10.125p and 500k at the same price recently.

Assuming these are still from JPM then who is buying them???

Velly interesting.

Fund Management: European Wealth
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marben100 13th Aug '10 18 of 29

In reply to djpreston, post #17

Hi djp,

One aspect of this strikes me as particularly intriguiging. It seems likely that most of JPM's shares are being soaked up by one buyer. Why then doesn't that buyer approach JPM's brokers directly and negotiate terms to buy whatever size stake JPM are interested in selling? Surely JPM dripping shares into the market and the buyer hoovering them up is a rather inefficient way to proceed?

The main reason I could see for acting in this way is if the buyer wishes to conceal their identity for as long as possible. Surely it can't be too long before the buyer passes the 3% mark and has to be unmasked?

As you say, "velly interesting" :0)


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djpreston 13th Aug '10 19 of 29

In reply to marben100, post #18

Hi Mark

Same reason as happened during the big slide when JPM were just knocking out 50-100k lumps daily. Try as you might, they wouldnt entertaina bid in size. At least this time they seem to being handled much better.

Im not entirely convinced it is any one buyer - sure there is someone in size, which is draggin in the retail but if someone was accumulating then they should surely have gone through 3% now (unless they are non UK and can escape disclosure this way - anyone know if this is possible?)


Fund Management: European Wealth
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marben100 13th Aug '10 20 of 29

In reply to djpreston, post #19

Hi Darron,

On 16th Apirl JPM reported moving from 41.1m shares to 36.5m (8.85%).

Today's report puts them on 23.6m (5.5%).

So they've "only" disposed of 3.5%-ish in total in that period. Unlikely that a new buyer would be much beyond 3% yet, surely, based on those figures?

I am stunned & appalled that JPM won't entertain a sensible offer to buy from them in size but instead prefer to exert continuous selling pressure in the market. Just glad that there are buyer(s) on this occasion, or heaven knows where the SP would be.


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dbfromgb 13th Aug '10 21 of 29

I think a feature of most (or all?) of the recent heavily traded sessions is that they were spaced a little way apart and seemed to be entirely concentrated in the morning session. Today occurred after a couple of quiet days, and by lunchtime the activity quietened right back down again. Possible explanations for a focus on the morning could be interest from the far east or Australia - if so then one might suppose that the interest is more likely to be strategic, and in Tanzania or dare I say DPRK?

For that volume (circa 20m by end of lunch), quiet yesterday and quiet(ish) again this afternoon, this must surely be major buyer(s) and/or institution buyer(s) . Whilst PI's may have added to the froth the pattern seems all wrong for a general news leak, or a general rerating based on expectations re Nyuni and Shoats, where the buying activity would surely have been more persistent?

Re JPM - this activity appears to be buyer rather than seller led, with JPM taking the opportunity to sell into strength - I don't know much about these things but if they are in no hurry then a gradual winddown of their position at market rates rather than bulk makes some sense.

The one source of news that is not widely available but which could spread 'confidentially' is the contents of the KEY data room, with a consequential better understanding of what is what in Tanzania (including Ruvuma), and perhaps an understanding of who is interested. Given that Key are based in Australia, interest from there could timewise tie in with a UK morning buying spree.

All IMHO - which isn't worth much!! Still a long term holder (but also reflecting on whether a near term take out at 30p/40p would be welcome or not). Still waiting impatiently!

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morality 13th Aug '10 22 of 29

Interesting thoughts dbfromgb. Imagine if it was interest in DPRK! It's so far out there I'd have to have a chuckle. Maybe Chosun have been pulling something off though.

Are you sure it's been morning buying though? I think some of it has been right up till 5 on the busy days.

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REO100 13th Aug '10 23 of 29

In reply to dbfromgb, post #21

Still a long term holder (but also reflecting on whether a near term take out at 30p/40p would be welcome or not). Still waiting impatiently!

Interesting comment and I am in the same boat as to LT holder status adding along the way.  After holding for sometime I took the opportunity of going along to the AGM.  It is open to one's opinion but I found it invaluable, the presentation (which was conservative, not excitable just concentrating on fact) highlighted again the potential BUT also brought it home to me as a LT holder that it could easily go on the cheap due to lack of cash and profile.

I think a few on here believe whilst there is some excitement on OM-10, the Tanzanian  assets may be under the spotlight.  In it's own small way there is some comparison to the current siuation with DNX (forget the size differential !) - if there were a predator I believe there would be limitations in stopping such a process, management do not have a large chunk, LT holders are probably tired and impatient and any short termers would be more than happy with a 50/100% return.

I have mentioned this a number of times over the last 18-24 months and I think this is a real possibility now.


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daramuda 13th Aug '10 24 of 29

REO100 - as a LT it depends on the base upon which level you calculate the 50/100% return. Are you thinking dbfromgb bracket or something higher or lower - sounds like Michael Barrymore top middle or bottom?

It does however look like there is a stalker about. Odd days 23 July,3 and 10 August and today despite SC.

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REO100 13th Aug '10 25 of 29

In reply to daramuda, post #24

The harsh reality for me is in the 20p-25p range.

The near term driver would seem to be OM-10 should that be negative the 'stalker' would have a great opportunity to pick up cheap stock should it be positive it is very unlikely to be a company maker and perhaps push forward the 'stalker' to pick up more stock quickly (in the context it is an inconvenience due to the interest in Tanzania ?) - IMO that is the potential company maker, but progress is slow.

It seems weird that whilst I am pleased the SP is moving ahead I am currently uncomfortable as to the real reason, as we are seeing elsewhere there is no room for sentiment and if the majority feel shall we say a 100% uplift from 10p is acceptable then we would be sitting ducks.


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djpreston 17th Aug '10 26 of 29

JPM now down to 16,693,899 shares (3.88%)

Gosh, thats less than we hold.

Fund Management: European Wealth
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safetyfirst 17th Aug '10 27 of 29

Their loss hopefully DJ

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bankerbasher 18th Aug '10 28 of 29

In reply to djpreston, post #26

JPM have reduced their position from 8.85% on 16th April (and may still be reducing?) This is what they have done prior to previous placings by AEX.

So when will the begging bowl be out again?

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Friendzarin 18th Aug '10 29 of 29


If they are selling in volume then presumably someone is buying in volume at these levels who appears comfortable with the 'placing issue'

If there were to be a placing presumably it should be done when a greater position of strength is established with the approval having been received for the Songo Songo upgrade.Hopefully moving away from the massively diluting territory of single figures.

In the event of a placing I don't see why AEX or Davy should ask JPM to participate.It does'nt appear they did so in June ( not a massive quantum) so why should they give JPM any preference.Presumably it depends on getting the placing away . However I can't see its in AEX's or any other institutions interest for JPM to continue to repeat this cycle of behavior.They clearly are very active in buying and selling AEX in the market let them get on with it without the benefit of any more placed stock. Just my jaundiced diluted view . I've no doubt the board has a plan.

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