France clears Airbus execs of insider trading

18th December 2009, Comments 0 comments

France's financial markets watchdog on Thursday cleared 17 current and former EADS aerospace executives accused of making millions in insider trading linked to the Airbus A380 superjumbo project.

PARIS - Three firms -- EADS itself and shareholders Chrysler and Lagardere -- that had been accused of selling their stock options because they knew the share price would slump when A380 production delays went public were also cleared.

European aerospace maker EADS is the parent company of Airbus.

The executives and three firms were being investigated for selling their stock options when the shares were around 30 euros, near their historic high.

The share price plummeted by 26 percent in a single day when the A380 delays were officially announced in June 2006.

The executives had faced fines of up to 5.0 million euros (7.2 million dollars) if convicted by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF).

The case was seen a test of the AMF itself, with the watchdog under pressure to show it was able and willing to hold big business to account.


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