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France

French market regulator clears EADS executives of insider trading

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-17

France’s financial market watchdog (AMF) said Thursday that its three-year investigation into Franco-German aeronautics giant EADS had found no proof of insider-trading.

AFP - 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.
  
Three firms -- EADS itself and shareholders Chrysler and Lagardere -- were also cleared of accusations that they sold stock options because they knew the share price would slump when A380 production delays went public.
  
European aerospace maker EADS is the parent company of Airbus.
  
The Financial Markets Authority (AMF) said in a report on the high-profile investigation that knowledge of the A380 delays was not "privileged information" and therefore there was no case of insider trading.
  
Arnaud Lagardere, whose company was one of the ones being investigated, said on television channel Canal+ that he felt "relief" at the ruling.
  
The executives and three firms were being investigated for selling their stock options when EADS 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.
 

Date created : 2009-12-17

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