PM halts probe into minister's stock trades
Ann Törnkvist · 1 Nov 2013, 16:13
Published: 01 Nov 2013 16:13 GMT+01:00
- Migration minister faces insider trading probe (04 Oct 13)
- Minister faces possible insider trading probe (12 Sep 13)
- Swedish consortium saves Northland mine (30 May 13)
Broadcaster TV4 tried to get information about Billström's trade in shares in the company Lappland Goldminers, but the government chose not to lift the information's classified status. While the broadcaster reported that it had accessed similar information in the past, the government denied any irregularity.
"It was decided in the 1990s that government ministers would make public their shares and fund ownership," the prime minister's press secretary Daniel Valiollahi told The Local on Friday. "The information requested, however, is not covered by that decision and is classified."
Valiollahi declined to answer whether the government had considered making an exception in the case of Billström, given the extreme turbulence about the minister's trading behaviour concering another mining company earlier in the autumn.
The Economic Crimes Bureau (Ekobrottsmyndigheten - EBM) and the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen - Fi) in October launched a joint investigation into whether Billström had access to insider information when he bought shares in the ailing mining company Northland Resources. The probe was later closed without further action taken.
Billström has maintained that a trustee, rather than he himself personally, managed his stock portfolio. Billström did respond to broadcaster TV4's report into the suspected insider trading by admitting that "it might look strange" but denied all wrongdoing.
His colleague Peter Norman, the Swedish financial markets minister, said that while he had access to information on the bailout, he did not know whether Billström had been privy to details concerning the rescue package.