Treasury adds defences to insider dealing Bill

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The Independent Online
THE Treasury has tried to pacify City objections to new insider dealing legislation by including new defences in the draft Bill to protect corporate finance specialists from accidentally breaking the law, writes Peter Rodgers.

The new version, being studied yesterday by the Stock Exchange and other City bodies, lists a series of defences, including a claim that an executive would have done a deal whether or not the inside information had been available.

The biggest change in the draft is the inclusion of a three- part definition of what it means to make information public, aimed at widespread fears that the new law would outlaw the broker's lunch and other informal information exchange.

Where information is given in confidence it remains private and using it to trade is illegal. The draft also tackles the grey area where fees are paid for information and defines when information has been published to investors.

However, as the Bill stands it would allow someone who knows about a takeover bid to deal with impunity after recording it in a parish register, so the Treasury said there would be further redrafting before the committee stage.

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