Tim Mason, the Fresh & Easy chief, has cashed in quite a few chips these past weeks, as you can read here. Others are dealing, too: Sir Terry Leahy, Richard Brasher, Colin Holmes. And who can blame them?

As we reveal with the launch of our Grocer Share Price Tracker (see p36), Tesco's share price has recovered all of the losses associated with the global economic slump.

It's also piling the pressure on Asda at the moment, with plans to create Britain's first 'Clubcard millionaires' (see p5), maintaining the momentum associated with the relaunch of Tesco's Clubcard last autumn (which seemed to coincide, directly, with an upturn in both its share price and its trading) .

Trading in one's options is part and parcel of today's remuneration landscape, and the sheer volume of the deals probably tells us as much about upcoming increases in capital gains tax as it does what management feels about Tesco's future prospects, share price and performance-wise.

But back to the GSPT. Our new index has a number of interesting findings: the first is that only half the 14 global supermarket plc share prices we have tracked are back at pre-Lehman levels. For a defensive sector, it's not many, is it?

The second is that, of these, three are British (of the British contingent, only Sainsbury's is underindexing). This is either a testament to the innate attractiveness of the UK grocery scene, or the quality of management here in the UK.

And the third is that Walmart is not among the stocks to recover the ground lost post-Lehmans. Despite its plans to build the equivalent of an extra five UK Tesco estates in the next five years, it clearly hasn't convinced investors that it can convert all that extra floor space into extra cash. What price growth? That's the challenge for Walmart, Tesco, and all supermarkets to some extent. Until they find the answer, cashing in the chips looks much more appealing.

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