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San Leon resurrection the highlight of a quiet month for AIM

Broker Allenby Capital says there were only two admissions, well down on the 2016 average of six per month.

Hitting the pones: The flow of new issues has slowed to a trickle.

Last month was a quiet one on AIM after a manic summer.

According to figures compiled by the broker Allenby Capital, there were only two admissions, well down on the 2016 average of six per month.

That said, the amount of money raised by oiler San Leon Energy plc (LON:SLE), which was re-admitted to the market, and miner Aura Energy Ltd, was well in excess of the monthly average.

In fact San Leon, which has turned its attention to Nigeria after only limited success in Poland, accounted for the vast majority as it raked in £170mln.

Drilling down, we find there were nine departures from AIM: four chose to de-list, three were acquired, one was the subject of a reverse takeover, while our final leaver did so after failing to find a nominated adviser.

“Economic uncertainty remains post the UK’s decision to leave the EU which is likely to be behind the relatively mild September IPO activity,” said Allenby analyst Matt Butlin.

“This looks likely to have continued into October with currently only one IPO announced and only two IPOs pending on the LSE website.

“However, with the oil price ticking up and if the market receives increased clarity about UK’s Brexit strategy, we would expect a stronger IPO environment in the coming months.”

It was also a fairly quiet week for the AIM All Share, though the trajectory was downward as it ended the week 0.6% lower.

Still it outperformed the index of blue-chip shares with the FTSE 100 down 1.1% in that time.

Roxi Petroleum PLC (LON:RXP) was among Friday’s standout stock, rising 19.5% after a positive update from a deep well in Kazakhstan.

The well, referred to as A6, was confirmed to host some 127 metres of oil bearing intervals which means it is larger than seen in the prior deep well.

Roxi chairman Clive Carver says the company would now move forward to an “all important” 90-day flow test.

Global Petroleum Ltd (LON:GBP) jumped more than 30% after it got an environmental greenlight for assets in Italy, after a three year wait.

One of the week’s top risers was Indonesian palm oil plantation owner MP Evans.

It received a 640p takeover from Kuala Lumpur Kepong, though the AIM-listed company's board has rejected the terms of the deal.

The MPE bid approach gave a boost to Liberia based Equatorial Palm Oil PLC (LON:EPO) and DekelOil (LON:DKL) of the Ivory Coast, which advanced 35% and 10% respectively.

It was pointed out by one investor we spoke to that the major palm oil companies such as Wilmar, Sime Darby, KLK and Golden Agri have been turning their attention to West Africa.

The political climate in Indonesia, the industry’s epicentre, isn’t particularly attractive at the moment. But, at the same time there is a dearth of land for expansion.

Sula Iron & Gold (LON:SULA) enjoyed a decent run as the shares added 30% over the week.

On Friday, the Sierra Leone focused explorer confirmed that Roger Murphy has now formally become chief executive and Iain Macpherson a non-exec director.

Sula's founder Nick Warrell is now the chief operating officer.

On Wednesday, Murphy had hailed the findings of an induced polarisation survey at its flagship Ferensola gold project, which could significantly expand the current exploration target's resource.

On the downside, oil and gas group Ithaca Energy PLC (LON:IAE) saw shares sink over 5% on the week having risen already around 200% this year.

This week, Barclays noted that the firm is about to mark a transformational event with the start-up of the Stella field in the North Sea.

But analyst James Hosie was bearish on the share, saying they currently trade at a 30% premium to Barclays’ valuation.

“We believe the market is already pricing in more than can be reasonably expected in the near (and possibly even medium) term,” he said.

A big faller on Friday, down by over 38% , was also Tethys Petroleum LTD (LON:TPL) which said the  previously announced C$9.8 million private placement with Olisol Investments Limited and Olisol Petroleum Limited had not closed by October 27.

Another AIM laggard for the week was Hotel Chocolat Group (LON:HOTC), down over 10%. It represents a climb down after the share rise last week when the firm posted a maiden set of final results.

It revealed a 181% increase in pre-tax profits for the year to June 26.

The group now has 83 stores having opened seven new ones in the year and its new website is on track to launch in the first half of the current financial year.

Quick facts: San Leon Energy PLC

Price: 25.25 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £113.6 m

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