Societe Generale denies report of insider trading

18th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 18, 2006 (AFP) - Societe Generale on Wednesday denied any involvement in insider dealing, after a press report said the French banking group was being investigated by the Paris stock market regulator AMF.

PARIS, Oct 18, 2006 (AFP) - Societe Generale on Wednesday denied any involvement in insider dealing, after a press report said the French banking group was being investigated by the Paris stock market regulator AMF.

The AMF is looking into whether the bank in 2003 informed the Amber Fund, an investment company which belonged to Societe Generale at the time, that it was about to sell its stake in Sophia, a large French property group, French daily Le Figaro said.

Amber Fund acquired a large number of Sophia shares before the bank publicly announced its intention to sell its own stake. When the official announcement was made a few days later, the shares quickly rose in value.

Amber Fund then sold its holding, pocketing capital gains of around a million euros (1.25 million dollars), Le Figaro said.

When questioned by AFP about the report, the bank said there had been "a coincidence of dates and no insider dealing."

The AMF for its part declined to comment and did not confirm that it had written a report on the matter.

Le Figaro said the report by the stock market regulator had been handed over to the state prosecutor's office in Paris.

Once Societe Generale has studied the report, it will be able to prepare and present its defence, it said, adding that the AMF will then decide whether any insider trading did in fact take place, and if so what measures should be taken against the bank.

Amber Fund, which was established in 1997, split from SG CIB, a finance and investment subsidiary of Societe Generale, last November, and was taken over by Amber Capital.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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