Nomura sacks two traders over Scoot dealings

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The Independent Online

Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, has sacked two of its top London salesmen for unauthorised share-dealing in Scoot.com, the online directory service.

Nomura, the Japanese investment bank, has sacked two of its top London salesmen for unauthorised share-dealing in Scoot.com, the online directory service.

The pair, who have not been named, were dismissed for "gross misconduct" after Nomura discovered they were trading in Scoot shares on their personal accounts but had failed to clear the transactions with the bank. One of the two is considering suing for unfair dismissal. Both have had their trading licences removed by the Financial Services Authority.

It is understood that the FSA has referred the affair to the Department of Trade and Industry, which may launch a full inquiry under the insider-trading provisions of the Financial Services Act.

The revelations mark the latest in a series of controversies for both Nomura and Scoot. The bank was fined £350,000 by the Securities and Futures Authority last week after two of its traders were found guilty of manipulating prices on the Australian stock exchange. Last month, the group's principal finance arm, headed by Guy Hands, pulled out of its high-profile deal to take over the Millennium Dome.

Meanwhile, the DTI is set to launch a formal inquiry into share dealings by Robert Bonnier, Scoot's chief executive, and Ronald Zimet, the company's former chairman. The group has been the subject of a series of leaks which have unsettled its share price.

On 31 August, Scoot reported a widening third-quarter loss of £16.6m.

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