Director Dealings: Lewis strikes as dry well pushes down Valiant price

SHARES in North Sea oil and gas explorer Valiant Petroleum nose-dived last month after the company announced disappointing news from one of its wells.

The AIM-listed company said it would abandon the exploration well after failing to find oil but despite the setback the company said the results from the well would help improve its geological understanding of the area. It added it believed the area could still hold significant potential.

Last week chief financial officer Mark Lewis took advantage of the share price fall to up his stake in the company. He purchased 10,000 shares at 590p to take his holding up to 30,000 shares.

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• Graham Murnane, an executive director of Glasgow-based intellectual property group Murgitroyd, has sold 28,216 shares at 320p to reduce his stake to 19,784 shares.

• Miles Templeman, a non executive director at engineering group Melrose, has bought 44,665 shares at 282p each. Templeman, who is also director general of the Institute of Directors, now holds 398,787 shares.

• Paul Neep, a non-executive director at Scottish sausage skin manufacturer Devro, has bought 4,074 shares at 239p to take his stake up to 187,523 shares.

• Philip Stimpson, chief executive of diagnostics company Mediwatch, has upped his stake with the purchase of 100,000 shares at 4.5p each. He now holds 21.2m shares.

• Barclay Douglas, a director at the commercial property investment group Hotel Corporation, has increased his stake with the purchase of 50,000 shares at 60p each and now holds around 220,000 shares.

• Geoff Spink, group finance director for electrical components distributor Elektron has bought 75,000 shares at 37p pence per share. He now owns 200,000 shares.

• Colin Day, outgoing finance director of Reckitt Benckiser, has sold 63,000 shares at around 3,600p each.

• Rakesh Bhasin, chief executive of communications group Colt, has upped his stake with the purchase of 200,000 shares at 121p each and now holds 500,000.

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• Two directors at oil explorer Egdon Resources have increased their holdings. Managing director Mark Abbott purchased 133,842 shares at 13p each through his pension. He now owns more than 7.24m shares. Walter Roberts, a non-executive director, has also bought 100,000 shares at the same price for one of his children. The purchase increased his family's stake in the company to just under 1.3m.

• Tony Rice, chief executive of Cable & Wireless Communications, has spent heavily to increase his holding following disappointing results. He bought 1m shares at 49.7p each at a cost of 497,000. The group announced a fall in profits in the half year to 30 September.

• Peter Morgan, a non-executive director at identity protection group CPP, has bought 51,696 shares at 275p.

• Resources group Hambledon said that Tim Daffern, newly appointed chief executive, has bought his first shares with the purchase of 50,000 at 5.7p each.