While the business pages this week were dominated by news that Deutsche Bank will be slashing its employee numbers, one of AIM’s big hitters, ASOS, also seems to be sharpening its redundancy axe.
Press reports emerged on Sunday that the online clothing giant and former ‘King of AIM’ was looking to serve P45’s to around 100 employees at its London office, most of which are expected to come from its marketing department.
The chatter around a jobs cull follows a difficult year so far for the e-commerce giant, which reported an 87% drop in first-half profits in April amid rising warehousing costs, savage discounting and a struggling retail environment.
Investors, however, seemed to shrug off the speculation, with the shares rising 1.4% in the week to 2,644p.
Elsewhere on the junior market, Neil Woodford got some good news (for a change) after Mercia Asset Management, which his Woodford Patient Capital Trust (PCT) had previously bailed out to improve its liquidity, rose 2.8% to 33.1p over the week after a strong set of final results that saw profits rise 62%.
There was also some good investment news during the week for a trio of AIM-listed backers of social shopping platform WeShop after it boasted of “considerable momentum” in its second quarter.
The news sent shares in Vela Technologies up 14.3% to 0.1p while fellow investors Primorus and Two Shields climbed 26% to 0.1p and 33% to 0.2p respectively.
One of the week’s biggest risers was biotech firm Redx Pharma, which rocketed 92% higher to 12p after selling one of its cancer research programmes to US-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to $203 million.
Among the miners, GCM Resources bounced 9.5% to 23p after securing a partnership with two Chinese power firms to develop a coal and power project in north-west Bangladesh.
Elsewhere, Xeros Technology surged 55% higher to 10.2p as it received a patent for a filter that captures microplastic particles shed by washing clothes as part of an effort to reduce plastic pollution.
Fellow tech firm CyanConnode also jumped 17.6% higher to 6.4p on the back of follow up orders for its products from leading Indian infrastructure group Genus Power and Toshiba Information Systems (UK).
Meanwhile, small cap legal eagle Knights Group charged 4.9% higher to 280p following its maiden full-year results which saw pre-tax profits more than double.
Overall, the AIM All-Share index was barely moved over the week, falling 0.01% to 916.6. Although this was better than the FTSE 100, which was down 0.27% at 7,533.
In the fallers corner, divine intervention failed to save One Media IP Group as news that it had acquired the publishing and writer’s share of income for Christian pop hit ‘God’s Not Dead’ was overshadowed by a 21% fall in half-year profits. The shares tumbled 14.3% to 6p.
Elegant Hotels shed 2.8% to 68.5p after the termination of its management contract for the Hodges Bay Resort & Spa in Antigua, however, there was one silver lining in the form of a $1.5 million loan repayment.
There was no such bright spot for consulting business Jaywing, which nosedived 28.3% to 8.5p after issuing a profit warning for the year ahead, blaming political and economic uncertainty for a sharp drop in client spending.
Telematics group Trakm8 hit the buffers, sinking 15.5% to 19p after its full-year results revealed a swing to a loss alongside a 35% fall in revenues.
Joining the descent was gold explorer Panthera Resources, which sank 18.9% to 10.8p after a legal dispute with the government of Rajasthan was delayed by the courts.
Finally, it looks like it’s going to be a busier than average summer for London’s bankers and brokers as the number of stock market listings starts to crank up after a Brexit-inspired hiatus early in the year.
So, keep a weather eye open for a company called Zaim Credit Systems.
The Russia-focused fintech styles itself as a micro-finance specialist.
Here in the UK, we’d describe it as a payday loans specialist.
Word is it will take a fast-track stock exchange listing sometime towards the end of the holiday period.