The woes of Provident Financial culminated this week in its ignominious ejection from the FTSE 100.
While the UK’s largest doorstep lender has been through the mincer following the mother of all profit warnings and the summary ejection of its boss, the second biggest player has quietly gone about its business.
In fact Morses Club, based in Batley, West Yorkshire, has seemingly profited from the travails of its much larger rival, picking up customers and agents from Provvy.
Woes: The woes of Provident Financial culminated this week in its ignominious ejection from the FTSE 100
This was borne out by the numbers this week which revealed total issued credit increased 25 per cent to £82million in the six months ended August.
‘As the second largest lender in this market, we believe that our growth is based on a solid foundation of listening to our customers and adapting to their needs,’ said Morses chief executive Paul Smith in what some might construe as a dig at the competition.
Elsewhere on AIM, there was some respite for long-suffering investors in Telit Communications, the developer of wireless technology that allows machines to talk to each other.
The shares shot up 50 per cent this week after it received a massive tick in the box for its 4G technology in the form of certification from the giant American telco AT&T.
Finally, a positive for the company, which has endured a run of bad news that’s wiped 47 per cent off the value of the company in the past three months.
The departure of the company’s chief executive, Oozi Cats, under a cloud last month put a massive dent in confidence, which had already been hit by a damaging profits warning.
Worth £500million in April and one of the UK’s largest tech companies, its market capitalisation is now £225million.
Tough week: It was a tough week for investors in OPG Power Ventures (down 26 per cent)
Let’s hope Thursday’s news decisive represents a change in fortunes.
Also undergoing something of a revival this week was punters’ favourite 88 Energy, which romped 27 per cent higher and is up 48 per cent in the last month.
It too has endured a roller coaster few months as it has attempted to establish a new oil play on Alaska’s North Slope.
Recent updates have focused on the company’s problems flow testing its second well on the Icewine field.
After a hiatus period to allow pressure to build and a soaking process to complete, work has restarted.
Judging from the share price movement the excitable bunch that follows of the stock are expecting the next update to be positive.
The FTSE AIM All Share had a decent week as it advanced just under 1.5 per cent, which put it a couple of paces behind its benchmark, the FTSE 100, which was up 1.7 per cent.
On the up: The FTSE AIM All Share had a decent week as it advanced just under 1.5 per cent
Looking at the longer-term trend it becomes apparent the Footsie has been thrashed by its junior rival which has marched 28 per cent higher in the last year compared a 10 per cent rise in the index of blue-chips.
The sell-off continued for waste management firm Augean (off 25 per cent), which last week received a bill from the tax man for £1.9million for landfill duties.
It was a tough week too for investors in OPG Power Ventures (down 26 per cent), the India-focused generator which warned on the impact of a sharp rise in imported coal prices.
With this in mind a diversification into solar looks well judged.
Finally, one to watch: appScatter Group will take its AIM bow on Tuesday after raising £9million at 65p a share valuing the business at £41million.
Boss Philip Marcella and his team have developed software that lets users distribute and monitor their apps across hundreds of app stores.
It will use the cash injection offer its product to a further 10,000 customers, as well as opening a second office in Berlin.