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rAbacus Recruitment, an employment business, is having an exciting ride on the Alternative Investment Market this week. The shares started at 28p and closed yesterday at 55p, up 12p on the day. Director buying is said to have sparked the excitement. Headed by Gary Asworth the company arrived on the old 4.2 market in June two years ago. Profits fell to pounds 1,000 but had recovered to pounds 110,000 in the first half of last year. Started as an accountancy recruitment agency, Abacus has expanded into such areas as housekeepers and catering staff.

rGeest, the cash-rich food group, gained 5p to 232p as stories continued to circulate that a bid is near. Hillsdown Holdings, up 2p to 177p, seems to be everyone's favourite to strike.