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THE Stock Exchange is believed to be divided over whether to pursue an inquiry into share purchases in Amber Day, the retailing group, by Stacey Ellis ahead of his appointment as chairman of the company at the end of last year.

Mr Ellis, who quit abruptly a few days ago after only seven months in the job, bought 500,000 Amber Day shares ahead of his appointment last December, when the share price was below 30p.

Even if, as the company's lawyers have advised, Mr Ellis' share transactions were not in breach of the law on insider dealing, some shareholders believe that he should not have bought the shares because he should have known that the announcement of his appointment would help the share price.