PATSYSTEMS, which specialises in financial trading software, is seeing strong growth in the market it operates in.

A recent industry report showed that trading in derivatives on the world’s main exchanges surged by 25 per cent last year.

Aim-listed Patsystems has also been on the acquisition trail, and recently bought US-based equity trading software company Mixit.

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Shares in the company have performed poorly over the past year, but purchases by two directors this month suggest they believe the long-term prospects are promising.

Chairman Richard Last bought 208,750 shares, to take his holding to just short of a million shares. Non-executive director Stewart Douglas-Mann bought 20,000 shares and now has 200,000 shares.

Both directors paid 18.65p each for the shares.

n Peter Jones, one of the entrepreneurs on the BBC Dragons’ Den panel, has increased his stake in electronics retailer Expansys.

He bought 35.6 million shares at 2.42p and now holds more than 481 million shares. The company recently revealed a 60 per cent increase in sales last year and a reduction in pre-tax losses.

n Robert Walters, chief executive of the eponymous recruitment firm, has increased his family’s stake in the business with the purchase of 81,630 shares at 245p each.