Sweden probes ‘doubled’ insider trading cases

Suspected cases of insider trading are on the up in Sweden, with financial crimes investigators looking into as nearly as many cases in the past six months as in all of 2012.

Sweden probes 'doubled' insider trading cases

“One reason could be increased market activity, and maybe we have become stricter,” Stockholm Stock Exchange spokeswoman Annika Poutiainen told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper on Monday.

Auditors Price Waterhouse Coopers warned already last year that using a UK model, they had identified suspicions of insider trading in 46 percent of share sales in Sweden. Establishing what the “standard deviation” in a company’s share price was, the researchers knew what to look for.

“Any deviation from that standard deviation that can’t be explained by publicly available information,” PWC researcher Fredrik Ljung told Sveriges Radio (SR) last year.

“About 40 to 60 percent of notifications from the stock exchange go on to a preliminary investigation,” his colleague Robert Engstedt, a former prosecutor, said at the time.

In 2012, authorities dealt with 40 cases of suspected insider trading. SvD reported on Monday that from January to June this year, the stock exchange had already filed 35 suspicious cases.

Banks and other financial institutions can also log their concerns. The Swedish Economic Crime Authority (Ekobrottsmyndigheten – EBM) has so far this year received 54 cases from them, while the annual figure for last year was 87 – which would mean a 20-percent increase if the rate of report were to stay the same until the end of 2013.

The rate of investigations leading to charges has also picked up, SvD reported – three cases have made it to the prosecutor’s office so far in 2013, while four cases went to court last year.

“A transaction that looks suspicious doesn’t have to be suspicious if you look at a wider trade pattern,” EBM prosecutor Martin Tidén told the newspaper. “If, for example, one actor trades the same stock every day, then it isn’t odd that they bought shares just before the company in question presents a big new order.”

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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.