SMALL CAP MOVERS: Junior stocks revived by easier restrictions; M&C Saatchi jumps after contract wins
The junior market has seen a spate of recovery stories this week, hinting a V-shaped return to pre-pandemic levels could become a reality for some.
If so, they would be bucking the wider trend, according to the Office for National Statistics, which said 57 per cent companies expect turnover to drop this year.
While fallers made up the largest slice of the pie this week, there were some notable risers.
Coronavirus crisis: The junior market has seen a spate of recovery stories this week
Zinc Media Group surged 41 per cent to 60p after winning £2.7million of new business since May.
The TV company resumed production faster than planned and now has more than 20 programmes in the pipeline, including Britain’s Lost Masterpieces for BBC4.
A different sector but same story: Immotion Group shot up 31 per cent to 2p after the aquariums where it operates virtual reality experiences opened for business.
Meanwhile, marketing agency M&C Saatchi jumped 26 per cent to 56p after contract wins with TikTok, BP and the UK government.
Belvoir Group’s shares rose 9 per cent to 141p after it said it expects to hit its pre-lockdown targets.
Turning to the wider market, the AIM All-Share rose 0.6 per cent to 889, recouping Thursday’s losses, while the FTSE 100 wallowed in the red with a 1.9 per cent fall to 6,008.
Drug developer Diurnal rose 57 per cent to 47p after a positive meeting with the US regulator. The gains would have been more significant but for a bout of mild profit-taking.
Sticking with the sector, Tiziana Life Sciences surged 30 per cent to 214p after submitting a patent application for the potential use of a Foralumab administered nasally or by mouth for the treatment of COVID-19 either alone or in combination with other antiviral drugs. It also said the demerger of its StemPrintER unit was progressing to plan.
M&C Saatchi jumped 26% after contract wins with TikTok, BP and the UK government
Oncimmune Holdings rose 15 per cent to 137p after its collaboration with Swiss giant Roche was expanded substantially, so it eyes an increase in the value of the contract.
Fellow pharma developer SkinBioTherapeutics advanced 12 per cent to 22p after announcing its cosmetic skincare partnership with FTSE 100 specialty chemicals producer Croda is progressing well, while it is recruiting participants to study a separate food supplement for psoriasis patients.
In the mining sector, Cora Gold soared 55 per cent to 12p after revealing the discovery of a new 1,500-metre gold zone adjacent to its flagship Sanankoro Gold Project in Mali.
Similarly, Ariana Resources advanced 19 per cent to 5p after flagging the resource at its Salinbas project has increased in size by 50 per cent.
Elsewhere, mass spectrometry instruments producer Microsaic Systems jumped 40 per cent to 0.7p on the news it may be up for sale, although investors did not react well when it was first revealed.
Likewise, property manager HML Holdings was up 24 per cent to 36p after agreeing to a takeover offer from private firm BDB Nominee, valuing the company at £19million.
Meanwhile, building services firm Bilby climbed 26 per cent to 22p after announcing net debt at the end of June was £7million, the same levels of March, despite disruption caused by the pandemic.
Among the fallers, oil and gas company Coro Energy lost 18 per cent to 0.3p after scrapping the sale of its Italian portfolio to Zenith Energy because regulatory approval could not be obtained before the July 31 deadline to conclude the deal.
Peer Echo Energy slipped 17 per cent to 0.5p after raising £475,000 by placing shares at a 17 per cent discount to continue funding the Santa Cruz Sur project in Argentina.
Finally, miner Oracle Power shed 8 per cent to 0.6p despite signing an initial agreement with the private office of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s ruling family, to potentially explore mining opportunities in Africa.