Norway raids bank for pre-bailout trades

Oct. 23, 2008 at 2:47 PM
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OSLO, Norway, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Norwegian authorities charged the country's largest bank with insider trading based on its alleged foreknowledge of a government financial bailout plan.

Two DnB NOR employees were also charged with trading violations. They were questioned by Okokrim authorities, who deal with white-collar crime, Aftenposten reported Thursday.

Authorities said the bank knew in advance the government would enact a plan to add liquidity to the financial system. On Oct. 9-10, before the plan was announced, it sold government bonds, which fell in value after the plan was made public.

The bank's Chief Executive Officer Rune Bjerke was in contact with the prime minister's office prior to the announcement of the bailout plan, the report said.

Bjerke and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg are "old friends," Aftenposten reported.

After authorities raided the bank's offices, the bank issued at statement saying it remained confident in its CEO.

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