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Oslo Børs: Secure Insider Trading

Date 26/06/2002

In a move to promote secure, lawful insider trading, Oslo Børs is making its "insider register" available to the public as of today. The insider register is a database containing defined primary insiders - i.e. persons and companies who are bound by the notification requirement and are required to exercise particular care in securities trading.

Now anyone can go to Oslo Børs's new website at www.ose.no/innsideregister to check the identity of listed companies' primary insiders, report trades, keep track of all reported insider trades and, nor least, to test their knowledge of insider trading and notification rules by taking the "insider test". A template is provided to enable primary insiders to report notifiable trades to Oslo Børs in a simple, straightforward manner.

Unlawful insider trading is an anathema - everyone is agreed on that. When a defined primary insider in a listed company (for instance a senior manager or director) sells or buys shares in his "own" company, this is an important signal to the market, and is entirely within the law provided he is not trading on information that has not been circulated throughout the market. Oslo Børs desires greater transparency and a securer framework for primary insiders' trading, and to that end has developed an Internet tool that gives all market participants an overview at all times of notifiable trades, rules for primary insiders and close associates, templates for reporting and not least a good overview of primary insiders in all listed companies. All this and more is available at www.ose.no/innsideregister.

Norwegian rules governing primary insiders' trading are relatively strict - largely due to the close attention given to the issue by Oslo Børs and other market practitioners. Less attention has been paid to the insider problem in a number of European markets where, in addition, the rules are rather less strict than in Norway. Oslo Børs is at the forefront as regards rules on insider trading, and notes with pleasure that the European Union looks set to tighten its regulation of this sphere.

"Transparency is an important principle for Oslo Børs, and we consider it correct to show the entire market who figures in the insider register. Legal authority to publish the identity of primary insiders was granted in 2001. Now anyone can get an overview of and monitor primary insiders' trades. We expect this to have a preventative effect on anyone who may be tempted to cheat in the future. The new website is also intended to help insiders to fulfil the notification requirement correctly in all respects," says head of Market Surveillance at Oslo Børs, Sverre Lilleng.

In the first four months of the year Oslo Børs forwarded to Kredittilsynet (the Banking, Insurance and Securities Commission of Norway) 168 cases concerning primary insiders' breaches of the notification requirement. Of these, 132 referred to failure to disclose information to Oslo Børs. In the same period the bourse forwarded eight cases of suspected unlawful insider trading and leakage of information by persons privy to inside information.