'Suspicious' Trades Precede Most Big Canada Mergers, Study Says

Posted on Friday, March 23 at 08:52 by jensonj
The rate of unusual trading found in Canada -- 63 percent -- was higher than in the U.S., where a Measuredmarkets study last year flagged 41 percent of comparable mergers. The London- based Financial Services Authority said March 7 that insider trading may have preceded almost 25 percent of U.K. merger announcements in 2005. No National Watchdog ``If there's no publicly available news that might explain the stock's aberrant behavior, then one might deem it suspicious,'' says Measuredmarkets President Christopher Thomas, whose Port Hope, Ontario, company alerts subscribers to odd trading patterns. ``It would appear that suspicious trading is more prevalent in Canada than the U.S.'' Canada's high rate stems partly from its fractured, underfunded regulatory system, market experts say. There are 13 provincial and territorial agencies regulating securities markets in Canada, making it the lone member of the Group of Eight industrial nations without a national watchdog. The Ontario Securities Commission oversees the Toronto exchange, the nation's main bourse. ``The tools available to regulators in Canada are not as strong as in the U.S.,'' says Thomas, 64. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=aWEkKs084ISM&refer=canada [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on March 23, 2007]

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