Converium was the talk of the market again this week. One leading reinsurance broker likened its chief executive, Dirk Lohmann, to "a man who has been placed in an orange jumpsuit, feet chained and being led to a small overheated cell near Cuba".
He and fellow board members were definitely cap in hand on Tuesday when they had to announce a massive 74.4% discount on its rights issue price. Shareholders were asked to accept a paltry SF5 per share.
Reading between the lines, going it alone means that the potential investment and interest has dried up. If this is true, Converium's troubles are far from over.
Better potential news on the AIM market. Since The Broker Network floated in May, investors have been slightly nonplussed. But its fortunes could start to rise, hopefully above the 73.5p where its share price has stalled, according to chief executive Grant Ellis. He said that a positive meeting with fund managers and investment advisers last week revealed that BN is seen as a good stock to hold for tax planning, due to the predictability of its revenues. Fingers crossed that investors will buy the story (and the stock).
Goshawk Insurance Holdings saw its share price jump to 44p after the announcement of its results last Wednesday. The pre-tax profit of £10m for the half was a vast improvement on a £50.5m pre-tax loss last year. But, as of Tuesday, its share price had fallen back to 40.75p.
The City, however, was not so kind to insurance software company Sirius. On announcing flat results last week, the share price dropped from 87.5p to 82.5p.
A surprised Steve Verrall, Sirius's chief executive, said: "I have no idea why it should drop. We are investing in R&D - £4m this year alone - and the contract wins are there. Who understands the workings of the City." Indeed.