ACTIONS TO WATCH: Gemfields to create a sapphire mine in Madagascar

STOCKS TO WATCH: Gemfields to create sapphire mine in Madagascar to complete ‘holy trinity’ of gemstones, says boss Sean Gilbertson

Gemfields is setting up a sapphire mine in Madagascar to complement its “holy trinity” of gemstones, boss Sean Gilbertson tells us.

The Fabergé miner and owner already produces more than half of the world’s new rubies at its site in Mozambique and a third of all new emeralds from its project in Zambia.

He has been hunting sapphire sites in Ethiopia for some time, but is now actively searching in Madagascar.

Precious: Gemfields has been searching for sapphire sites in Ethiopia for some time, but is now actively searching in Madagascar

Gemfields is keen to close a deal soon for an area of ​​land where it could officially start exploring for gemstones and building a mine.

The price of colored stones has skyrocketed and hit record highs in recent years, outpacing the growth in diamond prices.

Gilbertson, who listed the company on AIM on Valentine’s Day in 2020, said, “As soon as there’s an opportunity, we’ll go.”

Commercial “robust” update for Moonpig

Moonpig had a “solid” trading update last week, according to analysts at investment bank Jefferies.

The annual sales forecast for the year to the end of April 2022 has been raised to £300m on the back of resilient performance through Covid restrictions and beyond, including a more buoyant Mother’s Day.

This endorsed Jefferies’ ‘buy’ rating and a price target of £4.10, although this was lower than the previous £5.10.

Analyst Andrew Wade called the update “as positive as we could have expected.”

Surely worth a thank you card from the boss.

The City Veterans Mulberry Stem Sharing Structure

City veterans are baffled by the share structure of AIM-listed fashion piece Mulberry.

The handbag company is 93% owned by its two largest shareholders – Singaporean billionaire Ong family and (you guessed it) Mike Ashley.

Former chairman Godfrey Davis holds another 2%, leaving a float of less than £10m.

Stocks move little from month to month despite volatile markets. Perhaps a safe bet, though one jaded stock picker describes it as “another Ashley mystery.”

But surely one or other of the big investors has to move at some point?

Or maybe regulators should move to remove this glacial stock from public markets?

Tesco shares less than rivals

Tesco has had a good run recently, if only because its shares are down just 8% year-to-date.

That compares to 11% for Sainsbury’s and 36% for the only other food retailer in the market – although it also has a large clothing business – M&S.

The arrival of chief executive Ken Murphy in 2020 has been well received so far at Tesco.

But when the supermarket releases its annual results on Tuesday, the market will be looking for signs that it can keep the company ahead of its main rivals and, at the same time, beat inflation.

Good luck Ken.

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