Insider trading probe at ABN Amro (update)

The American and Dutch stock exchange watchdogs SEC and AFM have launched investigations into possible insider trading at ABN Amro during the takeover battle for the Dutch bank last year, reports the Financieele Dagblad’s website on Wednesday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking at transactions at the beginning of negotiations in March, the paper says.
‘The AFM is doing its own investigation but is also in discussions with the SEC,’ an AFM spokesman told news agency Betten.
The investigation is centering on the 9% rise in ABN Amro shares on March 19, following rumours than Barclays was poised to make a bid. There was a similar rise in ABN Amro shares in the run-up to the consortium bid.
A spokesman for ABN Amro and the Dutch-Belgian financial services group Fortis have both confirmed that the SEC has asked them to provide information.
Fortis is part of the consortium that eventually acquired the bank. The other two consortium members (Royal Bank of Scotland and Spanish bank Santander) and the rival British bidder Barclays have also been asked for information, reports the FD.

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