SMALL CAP MOVERS: The markets are in turmoil due to central bank measures

This week we saw Brandshield, a small-cap cybersecurity company, announce its delisting from the London Stock Exchange.

Not a shock considering the rate of AIM delistings shows no signs of slowing down in the fourth quarter.

But the catch in Brandshield’s move was the simultaneous subscription of shares worth £2.68 million to a handful of investors, including former Tesco boss Sir Terence Leahy.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey

Leahy, who has been invested in Brandshield for at least 12 months, has deposited £403,000 for the subscription. He obviously has great trust in management, which keeps the company’s finances private.

“The directors believe that the delisting will help to further improve margins and will allow senior management to focus on operational excellence without the additional legal and regulatory burdens imposed by our current listing status,” the mission statement said by Brandshield.

There was also an open offer of £2.2 million at 5.68 per annum, which would probably not please retail investors. Shares fell 28 per cent to 2.88p on the delisting news.

Markets have been moving left, right and center this week, buoyed by the Federal Reserve’s rate call on Wednesday and the Bank of England’s call on Thursday.

Both central banks have imposed a moratorium on interest rate hikes (which surprised some when it came to the BoE).

But both announcements could also be summarized as hawkish pauses, as neither went so far as to completely take future interest rate hikes off the table.

The AIM All-Share Index had lost almost a percentage point until the Fed’s pause buoyed the market, only to fall to weekly lows on Thursday.

Overall, the junior market closed the week 0.8 percent lower at 739.65.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was similarly volatile but ended up performing better, closing unchanged at 7,717.

Corcel has attracted a lot of interest this week. Extraction srl, an investment group majority owned by Corcel chairman Antoine Karam, gifted the Angola-focused mining group a £10 million convertible loan with a market premium of 80 percent.

Shares have been on the rise since the end of last week and are currently up 75 percent since last Wednesday’s close.

Orcadian Energy led the energy sector with shares rising a whopping 300 percent after the company announced a preliminary agreement with an unnamed potential operator of its key North Sea asset.

If completed, the deal would focus on developing the pilot field, one of the largest undeveloped areas in the central North Sea.

Chariot was also a top mover in the energy sector. The Africa-focused transition energy group rose 32 percent following its preliminary earnings release on Tuesday.

Stakeholders were excited by Chariot’s progress on the Anchois gas development project in Morocco, where partner negotiations are in the final stages, according to management.

Other bullish stocks in heavy industry included Arkle Resources, which rose 38.5 per cent, ECR Minerals, which rose 28 per cent after raising £580,000 in a direct subscription, and Premier African Minerals, which rose after an update to its Zulu Lithium and tantalum project increased by 24 percent.


Metaphorically and literally, bus transport company Rotala moved to the top of the relocation list after announcing it had received an offer from a management-led team that would value the company at around £19.4 million.

As a result, Rotala shares rose 40 percent to 59 pence.

In the biotech space, Scancell Holdings had a record week after its share price rose over 63 percent.

Scancell caught the attention of City brokers, particularly Stifel, after reporting unexpected early results from the Phase II SCOPE trial in advanced melanoma.

Discussing vaccine trial results released Tuesday, Stifel analysts affirmed a “buy” rating on the AIM-listed biopharmaceutical company.

Finally, the 20 percent decline in restaurant operator Comptoir Group’s shares on Friday underscored the headwinds currently facing the hospitality sector.

“Trade continues to be affected by significant events beyond our direct control,” Beatrice Lafon, non-executive chair, told the group meanwhile, “such as the ongoing public transport industrial dispute, now entering its second year …We also had a relatively bad summer in terms of patio weather.”

Lafon also pointed to macroeconomic pressures, including high inflation and the end of government support through business taxes and VAT.

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Drew Weisholtz

Drew Weisholtz is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Drew Weisholtz joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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