Market Report: Claims AstraZeneca has made $200-a-share offer for

AstraZeneca has joined the pharmaceutical sector’s M&A party, or so rumour has it. The British drug maker, which spent much of 2014 batting away interest from US heavyweight Pfizer, is said to have made a $200-a-share offer for Receptos, which values the San Diego-based firm at £4.1bn.

Small Talk: Renewables group eyes higher profile with London listing

Another week, another listing – and this time investors can look forward to something different from the usual crop of oil & gas prospectors and mining plays. Australia's Wasabi Energy is already traded down under and this week, it will make its debut on AIM with a secondary listing as it seeks to raise its profile and broaden its investor base.

The Week Ahead: Sir Stelios's shadow is still hanging over easyJet

It was easyJet's 15th birthday last week, but when the budget airline releases its final results tomorrow, it will be its chief executive Carolyn McCall's plans for the future that investors will be focusing on. Ms McCall, who joined the company in July from Guardian Media Group, is set to outline the outcome of her strategic review.

Small Talk: Smallcap oil and gas explorers scoop North Sea licences

It has been a busy week for small-cap oil exploration and production (E&P) companies with an interest in the North Sea. The Government's 26th offshore licensing round – postponed from early 2009 on account of the financial crisis – finally concluded. And out of 2,818 possible blocks on offer, a thoroughly healthy 114 licences covering 268 blocks have been awarded, with another 90 still undergoing environmental assessment which may yet turn into licences.

Small Talk: Confidence on Aim is rising despite fear of Coalition

George Osborne's axe is on its way and the doomsayers reckon that if applied too heavily, it could send the economy back into recession. But as reported in this column in recent months, the gloom appears to be lifting on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim). Several pieces of research have indicated that more companies are considering a listing or raising more money, and all the pointers show that confidence is on the up on the small-cap index.