Cyber-security hasn’t strayed too far from the headlines this week thanks to the WannaCry ransomware attack last weekend. Online menace: Cyber-security hasn’t strayed too far from the headlines this week thanks to the WannaCry ransomware attack last weekend
The cyber-attack infected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, including some of those owned by various governments and healthcare providers.
It wasn’t just the big-hitters benefiting from the renewed focus on matters security: several AIM-listed cyber-security stocks have been in demand this week, with investors betting big that online protection is going to grow into an even larger market.
Corero Network Security – which has a suite of protects designed to prevent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack – has jumped 11 per cent over the past five trading days to hit 8.9p.
Fellow AIM-listed firm ECSC Group had an even better week, with shares up more than 20 per cent to trade at 482p.
Sticking with the tech space, a collaboration with industry giant Google helped to power smart home solutions provider LightwaveRF much higher.
The Birmingham-based firm has a range of devices which can monitor various things in the home such as heating, lighting and security.
Thursday’s news was that all of these products have now been launched on the Google Assistant voice control for the new Google Home device.
It took a little while for the market to show some love for the RNS, but by this afternoon shares had added 66 per cent to sit around the 24p level.
The wheel of fortune was less kind to Proxama, which was hammered by investors for three straight sessions.
Shares tanked on Wednesday after the mobile commerce and marketing group revealed it wouldn’t be selling off its digital payments division after all.
Yesterday, Proxama said it would, however, be offloading DPD boss Mike Woods with immediate effect as part of the restructuring of the division, which sent the share price slipping even lower.
Striking gold: A tie-up with mining giant Newmont saw Greatland Gold shares add 25 per cent or so to its value this week.
A further slide today meant that the stock was down more than 40 per cent for the week to 0.21p, making it one of the biggest fallers among the small caps.
As evidenced above, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag for the junior market over the past few days. That was reflected in the AIM All Share Index, which finished the week broadly flat at 974.6.
That wasn’t enough to get one over the big boys though as the FTSE 100 marched higher, even hitting new all-time highs on Tuesday and Wednesday. The blue chip index gained 0.5 per cent, or 38 points, over the course of the week to reach 7,472.
Away from technology, a tie-up with mining giant Newmont saw Greatland Gold shares add 25 per cent or so to its value this week.
The gold miner said the deal could ‘accelerate the realisation of the potential value’ of the Ernest Giles project in Western Australia.
New York-listed Newmont has been granted exclusive access to the tenements and exploration database for six months and has the right of first refusal should Greatland opt to sell or joint venture the asset in that period.
Health boost: OptiBiotix launched its health supplements at Vitafoods Europe last weekend
Life sciences group OptiBiotix Health was another on a good run this week.
On Tuesday the group told investors that its health supplements were a massive hit when they were launched last weekend at Vitafoods Europe.
In fact, OptiBiotix said companies at the trade fair were so impressed that draft orders had already been placed by firms looking to sell Opti’s cholesterol-reducing and weight-loss supplements.
The momentum generated from that announcement carried on for the rest of the week, with shares climbing 17 per cent to 78.5p by today.
As often seemed to be the case this week, it was one step forward for one stock and one step backward for another.
A cautious AGM statement impacted software tools and cloud services provider Stilo International, which saw its shares shed the best part of 21 per cent to sit at 4.5p.
At the meeting Stilo’s chairman David Ashman told investors that although the firm had received ‘very encouraging’ feedback from trial users of its AuthorBridge XML editing tool, it was clear that some features still needed work.
‘As a consequence, AuthorBridge is not expected to contribute significantly to sales revenues in 2017,’ Ashman said.
Fast track: Technology firm Spinnaker Opportunities eschewed AIM to take a £1.2m London Stock Exchange standard listing
UK Oil and Gas was another to finish the week lower as investors in the explorer, which is the largest stakeholder in Horse Hill, saw £6.5million flow out from their pockets today.
The company raised the cash through a discounted share placing and it will use the funds to back its growth plans. Shares fell back towards the placing price of 0.8p and closed today at 0.85p, 12 per cent lower than a week earlier.
Finally, veteran small-cap trouble-shooter turned entrepreneur, Andy Morrison, seems intent on fast-tracking his latest venture, which made its stock market debut earlier this week at 5p a share.
Morrison is the chairman of and a leading investor in Spinnaker Opportunities, which eschewed AIM to take a £1.2m London Stock Exchange standard listing. Reverse takeover deals are already being sifted.
It is understood that Morrison and his team have assessed opportunities in the oil and gas sector, mid-stream and down-stream energy and cleantech.
So far they have seen around 30 different companies and have whittled that down to a long-list of seven to eight.
Spinnaker is thought to be keeping the phone lines open for a further few weeks to assess another wave of potential deals.
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