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SMALL CAP MOVERS: IGas Energy

Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey’s Brexit support has built a career and personal fortune estimated at over £800 million through his ability to spot a market opportunity.

So, what exactly did he see that the others missed in the AIM list? IGAS Energy?

Shares jumped 36 percent this week when it was revealed that longtime Harrovian’s Odey Asset Management had taken a 3.17 percent stake in the natural resource roach — not directly but through undisclosed financial instruments.

Now the bulletin boards were lit up with all sorts of wild speculation about why Odey had taken his stand.

Extraction: IGAS Energy, which is backed by Crispin Odey's investment company, owns shale-based assets of the kind that usually require fracking to release hydrocarbons

Extraction: IGAS Energy, which is backed by Crispin Odey’s investment company, owns shale-based assets of the kind that usually require fracking to release hydrocarbons

IGas is – as the name suggests – a gas specialist. In addition, the focus is on onshore exploration and development here in the UK.

In particular, it owns shale-based assets of the kind that usually require fracking to release hydrocarbons.

Of course, there is a moratorium on the controversial technique, which is said to have sparked a mini-earthquake near Blackpool three years ago.

However, the British Geological Society was asked to prepare a ‘drill-or-drop’ report on the UK’s vast shale deposits. The BGS handed in its homework at the beginning of last month.

With a focus on energy security and a deadline approaching for using coal for power generation, the new Conservative government could look more favorably at shale and fracking. At least that’s feverish talk in the chat rooms.

With the right support, IGas could deliver five well pads with up to 16 wells each in 18 months, it said in a presentation in April. That would be enough to supply three million households with cheap domestic gas.

Okay, there’s a lot of speculation going on here, so nobody should be betting here on the farm. However, it will be interesting to see how Odey’s IGas bet plays out.

Broadly speaking, it was a quiet week for the small caps in the UK, with the AIM All Share nearly holding out with a five-point lead to 925.24. It marginally outperformed the London blue chip index, with FTSE 100 down 11 points over the period.

Hold on to the risers, Kromek, which makes radiation protection equipment, advanced 32 percent after a decent run of results, which boast a strong order book. It also resolved funding nerves on Friday by raising £1.7m which will provide working capital requirements to execute on the new contracts.

According to The Investors Chronicle, a tip magazine that has a lot of influence on private investors, the County Durham-based tech company is “materially undervalued.”

In the oil sector, Canadian Overseas Petroleum, dubbed COPL by its legion of followers, seems to have a tiger by the tail. An independent report released Friday confirmed an estimated 900 million barrels of oil are stored in Wyoming.

The stock was up 3% on the day and is up about 15% in the past month.

On the fallers. The biggest casualty of the week was Revolution Beauty Groupthe makeup retailer that lost 65 percent of its value in the past five trading days after warning earnings and underlying profitability would be lower than forecast.

With the Russian oligarchs pulling out and the super-rich staying seemingly inconspicuous this summer, it’s not surprising that GYGthat maintains superyachts, sails to calmer waters.

This week it said it was making its way out of the tumultuous seas of public markets to become a private company. Shares fell 32 percent on the news.

Finally it was another miserable week for In the stylethe women’s fashion retailer that sounded the revenue alarm last month.

In the aftermath, shares plummeted 60 percent and fell 30 percent this week as investor confidence continued to ebb.

In its July 18 income statement, it said it was sitting on £10.5m in cash as of June 30 after it introduced a new bill discount facility.

One would assume that this allays short-term concerns about the company’s prospects. Against this background, it is difficult to discern what the sellers have seen that others have not yet noticed.

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