Carnegie trio cleared of price fixing

Three former traders at investment bank Carnegie have been acquitted by Stockholm District Court on charges of illegal price manipulation.

Carnegie trio cleared of price fixing

“Against the background of what the accused and the witnesses have said, the prosecutor has failed to demonstrade that the orders placed by [the traders] were not justified by the reasons they provided. The trading should therefore be seen as legitimate,” the court wrote in its judgment.

“Nor can it be viewed as proven, given what the witnesses have testified to or otherwise, that the trades were incompatible with accepted market practice,” the judgment concluded.

The investigation into the men, who are all aged about 35, attracted huge media attention. The probe was one of the largest ever undertaken in Sweden into price fixing. Thousands of trades have been investigated by the Swedish Economic Crimes Unit (Ekobrottsmyndigheten) and independent financial experts.

The crime of aggravated illegal market manipulation has a maximum sentence of four years, but prosecutor Yngve Rydberg had called for the men to be given a suspended sentence and a “severe fine.”

Carnegie has claimed the the men’s alleged price manipulation inflated their trading profits by 630 million kronor, but these calculations were questioned by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen – FI). All three men denied any wrongdoing.

“All I can say is that I don’t share the District Court’s view, but I have not read the verdict yet,” said Rydberg.

Rydberg added that it was “not impossible” that he would appeal the verdict, but said he would read the judgment before making a decision.

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Stockholm stock exchange suffers worst day of 2018

The Stockholm stock exchange plunged by 2.8 percent on Thursday, making it the worst trading day of 2018.

Stockholm stock exchange suffers worst day of 2018
File photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT
Stock markets across Europe suffered for the third day in a row as the arrest of a top Huawei executive in Canada has raised the spectre of an all-out trade war between the US and China.
For the Stockholm Stock Exchange, it meant a blood-red trading day that ended as the worst of the year thus far. The OMXS Stockholm 30 index fell by a combined 2.8 percent.
The majority of the companies on the index lost value, with the exception of Ericsson, which seemed to benefit from the news about its Chinese competitor Huawei with a 1.8 percent increase. Airline SAS also saw its stock increase, rising 4.2 percent thanks to sharp declines in oil prices. 
Among Thursday’s biggest losers was the mining company Boliden, which suffered a 6.1 percent drop. The stock of the Stockholm-based tech company Hexagon fell 5.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the stock of Swedish auto safety equipment manufactor Autoliv fell 6.1 percent on the news that it expects to pay some 1.8 billion kronor in fines as a result of an European Commission investigation into anti-competitive behavior in the EU. 
Stockholm was far the only European bourse to have a gloomy Thursday. The CAC index in Paris fell 3.3 percent, the DAX index in Frankfurt dropped 3.5 percent and the London Stock Exchange's FTSE index decreased by 3.2 percent.