A private motor price war has been much hyped in the last week or so, with Esure's name at the root of the gossip. But buyers have not been discouraged. Since dipping below 355p per share at the beginning of May, Admiral's share price has firmed to around 378p. In October 2004 its price was just under 300p. No wonder then that the company's reclusive chief executive Henry Engelhardt granted The Observer a rare interview last weekend.

As for broker-mediated sales, Highway's price is also in recovery, trading at just over 40p per share compared to 37p on 18 April - and favourable to its price when it was at the centre of takeover talks.

The Innovation Group (TIG) has had its ups and downs in recent years - to be fair, mostly up in the past year or so. But following IBM's announcement of massive job cuts, TIG - which works closely with Big Blue - saw its price dive from 55p on 19 April to a low of just over 30p this week. Oh dear.