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SMALL CAP MOVERS: AIM-listed companies raise £500m
AIM-listed companies raise £500million in less than a month to cope with coronavirus crisis
The coronavirus crisis has brought more money to AIM as companies turn to investors for support.
From the market low on 18 March to the start of the Easter weekend on 9 April, junior market-listed firms announced over £500million of funding.
March alone saw £379million being raised, up from £242million in February.
(image: ) The coronavirus crisis has brought more money to AIM as firms turn to investors for support
FinnCap, one of the leading brokers on AIM, helped raise £96million for its clients, such as Synairgen, which collected £14million to fund the trial of its interferon-beta treatment in coronavirus patients.
Despite the average discount to February prices of 50 per cent, research company Allenby Capital pointed out that the resulting stronger balance sheets have reassured the market, with share prices rallying 13 per cent on average.
The fundraising trend remains hot, with several companies announcing placings this week.
RELATED ARTICLES Share this article Share Some need it to cope while their operations are shut, such as Loungers, which this week rose 8 per cent to 99p after raising £8million to carry on while its restaurants and bars are closed.
Others are dealing with market disruption, such as fashion retailer Joules, which climbed 37 per cent to 98p after agreeing to add £15million to an existing debt facility with Barclays, following a £15million share placing conducted earlier this month.
Similarly, performance nutrition company Science in Sport bolted 10 per cent to 38p after raising £4.5million. Its sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
" (video: ) Data firm Shearwater Group was less lucky, sinking 10 per cent to 261p over plans to raise a minimum of £2.5million by placing shares at a 17 per cent discount.
Another faller was Crossword Cybersecurity, down 8 per cent to 260p even though founder Tom Ilube bought £150,000 worth of shares to complete the £1million fundraise target.
Some companies are looking to make the most of a depressed market and raise money to expand.
Software provider Blue Prism bobbed 12 per cent higher to 1,288p after raising £100million, while drain maintenance specialist Franchise Brands lost 2 per cent to 90p after pulling in £14million.
Notably, players in the pharma space have been raising more cash to fund projects to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Digital media firm Catenae Innovation soared 153 per cent to 2p after raising £320,000, which it has earmarked for a project to develop a ‘digital passport' to trace coronavirus cases in the population.
(image: ) E-sports firm Gfinity soared 49 per cent to 1p after signing a contract with Dubai-based peer YaLLa Esports to expand its RealGaming101 website in the Middle East and North Africa
Faron Pharmaceuticals dipped 5 per cent to 353p after raising £12million in an oversubscribed placing with the proceeds to be used for trials of its Clevegen precision immunotherapy candidate and to assess its Traumakine drug in coronavirus patients.
Turning to the wider market, the AIM All-Share index rose 2 per cent to 777, once again outperforming the FTSE 100, which was flat at 5,774.
In the risers, e-sports firm Gfinity soared 49 per cent to 1p after signing a contract with Dubai-based peer YaLLa Esports to expand its RealGaming101 website in the Middle East and North Africa.
Gfinity was also appointed to operate the inaugural ePremier League Invitational tournament, where footballers are representing their clubs by playing the FIFA 20 video game.
Meanwhile, kooora live (koragoallive.com) biotherapeutics company 4D Pharma advanced 43 per cent to 55p after announcing its asthma treatment in patients with coronavirus is being fast-tracked.
Keeping the coronavirus theme, Feedback leaped 38 per cent to 1p after its patient management tool Bleepa system was rolled out by the NHS to help its coronavirus response.
It is used by clinical staff on the front-line to make chest X-rays and CT scans more easily accessible.
Diagnostics specialist Genedrive gained 22 per cent to 70p after agreeing to develop its coronavirus test with Cytiva's LyoStable stabilisation technology, allowing production of 10,000 assays per hour.
Among the fallers, gold explorer Orosur Mining slid 26 per cent to 1p after its chief executive officer, Ignacio Salazar, was poached by Aussie firm Highfield Resources.
Finally, Internet-of-Things specialist Starcom dropped 22 per cent to 0.8p after announcing client orders and deliveries had been hit by delays due to the pandemic.
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