Amber Day price movements probed

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The Independent Online
AMBER DAY, Philip Green's downmarket retailing group, dispersed one of the clouds which has been hanging over the company yesterday when it appointed a new finance director.

However, another is on the horizon as it emerged the Stock Exchange is looking into unusual movements in Amber Day's share price at the start of this week.

The shares jumped 13p to 51p when In Shops, the stores-within- stores group, announced it was interested in buying Amber Day.

On Wednesday, after consulting some of its institutional investors who said they would not back a bid, In Shops decided not to bid and the shares fell back. Yesterday they closed at 46p, up 6p. They stood at more than 100p earlier this year.

The exchange is looking at whether there was a false market created in the shares though the proximity of the announcements.

It is studying transactions at the end of last week and the early part of this to see whether there was any possiblity of insider trading.

The new finance director is David Thompson, 38. He was made redundant two weeks ago from Storehouse, where he has been financial controller for two- and-a-half years, working for three different finance directors and for a few months without one.

Mr Thompson said he saw his new role as a challenge.

Amber Day has been without a finance chief since Graham Coles left to join First Leisure last month.

His departure, along with that of Leslie Warman, the group's only non-executive director, prompted a collapse in the share price.

Mr Green, who is chairman and chief executive, announced that he was about to split the roles and is currently looking for a new chairman.

Mr Thompson said he hoped to meet institutional shareholders in the near future because he felt all that was needed with Amber Day was for investors to gain a better perception of the company.

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