Small Talk: A tale of the Greeks and the soya bean stalk

Stathis Giavroglou laughs alittle nervously when asked if his relatives fully approve of the decision to list the family business after 38 years of trading. The impression is that certain people took some persuading.

Soya Mills, a Greece-based soybean and seed oil processor and distributor, which has been a Giavroglou family business since 1970, will list on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in July. The group reckons it has already had positive feedback from investors over plans to raise €50m; the main marketing will take place in the next three weeks.

On the one hand Soya Mills is already well established and is not going to use the money as a get-rich-quick jape for the directors. The group will sell 30 per cent of the ordinary shares, with the cash partly being used to fund expansion plans. The rest will be spent on a joint venture with Tsakos Group to acquire three dry bulk vessels. The move into shipping is a hedge against transport expenses, which make up between 20 and 30 per cent of costs, says Mr Giavroglou, chief executive.

But – and it is a big but – raising money on the AIM has been very difficult in recent months, as investors shy away from smaller, riskier companies, and move to the main market for a less speculative punt. Soya Mills insists it is big enough – profits came in at €7.7m last year, up from €4.4m the year before – but the market is not generally minded to be helpful.

Mr Giavroglou, it seems, is prepared to miss the heady heights of €50m, having already decided that the joint venture will go out of the window if the investors do not come in.

Solana Resources

Chief executive Scott Price reckons that Solana Resources is undervalued. Why? Well, it keeps finding lots of oil.

Solana, which operates in fiscally liberal Colombia, announced last week that it has successfully drilled a fourth site in its Costayaco field. The site, which already whacks out 7,000 barrels a day, and is a joint venture with another exploration firm, Gran Tierra, will eventually churn out much more, according to Mr Price, who admittedly does baulk at one analysts' report which claims that the field is capable of 70m barrels a year.

Whether the success this week means that the company is undervalued is unsure. Like most other oil and gas groups, Solana's share price has benefited hugely in the last six months on the back of the surge in the price of oil; on Christmas Day last year the stock was priced at 102.50p and is now up at a year high, closing on Friday at 266p.

The reason Mr Price is excited is that he thinks there is more to come, especially as Colombian infrastructure in the region, which he describes as the business's main risk, is due to be overhauled by next year.

Cubus Lux

If you like golf, don't go to Croatia. Not yet, anyway. The country has just two 18-hole golf courses, despite having a wealth of tourist potential with a huge coastline and a government that recognises that tourism is the way to massively increase the country's revenues.

That is where Cubus Lux comes in. The AIM-listed company, run by an Austrian executive chairman, works exclusively in the country (although there are plans to open operations elsewhere in the region).

The group's subsidiaries are together attempting to stitch up the whole tourist suite. It has casino licences, plans to open golf courses and developments that will contribute residential resorts and marinas.

Cubus Lux insists that it is on the same wavelength as the Zagreb government, which is keen to avoid "turning the Croatian coastline into another Costa del Sol," says the executive chairman, Gerhard Huber.

The company will announce its full-year figures on Tuesday, which, they say, will show considerable progress. If the group continues in the same vein, it might be worth packing up the golf clubs for your next trip to the Adriatic.

Vyke

AIM-listed Vyke, which will post annual results tomorrow, reckons it is the next Skype, the cheap internet calls operator. The company is a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service provider, specialising in calls over mobile phones. They say they can save call costs by between 65 and 95 per cent.

The analysts are pretty keen, too. Charles Stanley, an independent watcher, says that the stock price will reach 200p, and that VoIP providers will attract between 100 million and 250 million users across the globe in the next five years. "Vyke promises to do for the mobile communications industry what Skype did for the fixed telecoms industry," they say.

The traditional network providers will no doubt recognise the competition and the move to cut call charges and compete in less direct ways is already well under way.

Nonetheless, tomorrow's numbers should look good, helping Vyke to cement its already strong institutional following.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

Data Scientist (SQL, PHP, RSPSS, CPLEX, SARS, AI) - London

£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution