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By Bradley Gerrard | Published May 11, 2010

Hargreave Hale predicts boost for energy sector

Giles Hargreave, chief executive of the company, said the funds his company manages had benefited as a result of the recent oil discovery off the Falkland Islands.

He said he took a position in the British oil company Rockhopper Exploration shortly after it announced its discovery in the Falkland Basin.

He bought shares at 60 pence and has since sold some of them at a significant profit - the shares touched 260 pence.

"That doesn't happen often," he says, talking about the increase in share price in such a small amount of time.

"It does appear to be a very substantial find. Not only that, but it appears to be in a basin that extends into a wide area."

Mr Hargreave said it would be "surprising" if the company failed to find more oil in the region.

"We can expect there to be other drilling successes," he said. "The basin is relatively shallow, and the oil seems to be good quality.

"It is the best time to be in the stock. It is the most exciting time."

Mr Hargreave added that the find's logistics were "not unpleasant" and that the only issue was the political situation.

"We have heard from the Argentinians, and it is likely we will hear more from them," he said.

"There seems to be tremendous turnover in the shares, but it's been a great success for the funds that we manage."

Mr Hargreave said he was also invested in a company called Desire Petroleum, which had licences to drill off the Falkland Islands.

He said it would have no difficulty raising money now that such a significant find had been made.

The company's share price had dropped after an unsuccessful initial exploration, but Mr Hargreave said it had risen again on the back of the Rockhopper discovery and could still "have a very significant upside".

He added: "It is unquestionably the most exciting sector, and the risk is better than it used to be."

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