Market Report: Investors stock up on Kurdistan-focused Genel Energy and Gulf Keystone Petroleum


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Investors stocked up on the London-listed, Kurdistan-focused oil companies after the region’s government revealed it would finally start paying them regularly as of next month.

Genel Energy, up 46.5p to 418p, and Gulf Keystone Petroleum, up 5p to 34p, will both benefit from the monthly payments after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said it would pass on a proportion of its oil revenues.

The KRG confirmed it would offer additional revenues to international oil companies in the semi-autonomous region of Iraq “to enable them to begin to catch up on the past receivables”.

Irregular payments from the government have hurt both Genel, which is chaired by former BP boss Tony Hayward, and Gulf Keystone, a former darling of AIM’s army of private investors.

In its statement, the KRG, which has been pushed to financial distress by the fight against Isis, acknowledged that companies operating in Kurdistan had received “hardly any payments for their crude oil production since May 2014”.

In February, Gulf Keystone temporarily stalled oil exports amid falling oil prices.

Weak manufacturing data from China hurt the big mining stocks, with Anglo American the biggest faller, down 32.2p to 779p, and iron ore giant BHP Billiton joining it 45.5p lower at 1,137p.

The mining malaise meant the FTSE 100 crumbled 7.66 points to 6,688.62.

A 16.1 per cent rise in half-year pre-tax profits to £139.1m sent the product testing specialist Intertek to the top of the Footsie, up 274p at 2,721p.

However Fidessa Group’s first-half figures disappointed, with pre-tax profits down 1 per cent to £19.4m. The cautious outlook for 2016 – it said growth might slow next year – also put investors off, dragging the trading software group’s shares down 395p to 2,005p.

In the small-cap world, the business software developer Imaginatik rose 0.38p to 8.13p as former Quindell boss Rob Terry raised his stake to above 10 per cent through his Quob Park Estate investment vehicle.