Market Report: Imperial Innovations’ hot streak continues


Imperial Innovations’ hot streak continued yesterday when the life science group Abzena became the fourth Imperial-backed company to float this year.

Abzena, which helps pharmaceuticals develop medicine, raised £22.7m on a £77.9m valuation, with shares set to start trading on Thursday.

Imperial, which commercialises academic research and is named for its link to London’s Imperial College, has seen three other investments go public this year – Circassia, up 3p at 278.5p, Ixico, up 0.5p at 55.5p, and Oxford Immunotec, listed on Nasdaq in the US.

But despite the record, Imperial Innovations slipped 7.5p to 432.5p.

The FTSE 100 retreated from last week’s highs in a quiet day for the markets, and was down 42.54 points at 6,823.51.

Weir made gains after Citi tipped the engineer to benefit from the fracking boom in the US. The Glasgow-based company added 20p to 2735p.

AstraZeneca climbed 33.5p to 4451p after star money manager Neil Woodford revealed the drug giant is the top pick in his new investment fund.

Tullow Oil slipped 26.5p to 817.5p after Faroe Petroleum, down 0.75p at 124.25p, said the Butch South West exploration well, in which Tullow holds a 15 per cent stake, came up empty.

A string of recently floated companies were given a kicking as low volumes reigned, meaning small moves had big effects. AO World tumbled 20p to 246p, Pets at Home lost 11.5p at 184p and Boohoo dropped 1.25p to 43.75p.

Rumours that Flybe is to be selected to maintain military transport planes failed to impress traders and the regional airline lost 1.25p to 43.75p.

Petropavlovsk, the Russian gold miner, has fallen since mid-April owing to tensions with Ukraine. But the company rocketed 9.25p to 42.5p yesterday after reassuring the market that it is still on track to meet production targets.

Despite making progress with the Yorkshire park watchdog, UK miner Sirius Minerals lost 1p to 11.75p after admitting the authority still requires “further comfort” over the impact of Sirius’s planned York potash mine.