Gulf Keystone suspends shares today ahead of court decision

 
Suzie Neuwirth
OIL AND gas explorer Gulf Keystone Petroleum yesterday said it will suspend its shares on the Aim index today, ahead of a judge’s decision on the Excalibur court case which is expected this afternoon.

The firm plans to release a statement later today giving details of the London court’s ruling.

Rival firm Excalibur launched legal action against Gulf Keystone in 2010, arguing that it is entitled to a 30 per cent interest in some of the latter’s assets in northern Iraq.

A positive verdict to the court case would be a much-needed boost for Gulf Keystone, which announced in June that annual pre-tax losses had widened to £80.2m.

Gulf Keystone has been feted as a potential takeover target for energy explorers looking to tap into its assets in northern Iraq.

“The market may perceive the conclusion of the case as a removal of an obstacle towards the sale of the company and thus, the resolution may have a positive impact on the day,” said Dragan Trajkov, analyst at Westhouse. Shares closed 2.3 per cent higher at 187.75p.