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FSA to crack down on insider dealing

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The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is planning an inquiry into the insider dealing in shares of those companies involved in mergers and takeovers.

The watchdog’s markets abuse team will carry out the investigation with the cooperation of the Takeover Panel, responsible for overseeing the stringent code of conduct that applies to corporate deals.

Allegations of insider trading, where investors have been tipped off to buy the shares of bid target companies, have dogged this part of the market for some time.

The inquiry is expected to look at takeovers going back over 12 months, although the FSA declined to name any deals in particular it has earmarked for investigation.

However, FSA research suggests that up to a third of corporate deals may involve some element of insider trading.

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