BEIRUT

Regional

Al-Ahli Bank chief fined $5.3M over alleged insider trading

DUBAI/KUWAIT CITY: A Kuwaiti court has fined the chairman of Al-Ahli Bank, the country’s eighth largest bank, 1.5 million dinars ($5.3 million) over alleged insider trading in the bank’s shares.

The Court of First Instance fined Ahmad Yousef Behbehani, a member of a powerful Kuwaiti business family, after a complaint by the Capital Markets Authority, Al-Ahli said in a statement posted on the stock exchange website.

Behbehani said he was not guilty of wrongdoing and would appeal against the ruling to Kuwait’s Court of Appeal, Al-Ahli said.

The CMA said there was a “suspicion that traders conducted transactions in the official stock market based on inside information related to the shares of Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait,” according to the statement.

Al-Ahli did not give details of the allegations against Behbehani and said the court had not yet disclosed the reasoning behind its judgment.

The bank did not respond to requests for further comment from Reuters nor to efforts to contact Behbehani. Speaking over the telephone, the CMA said it could not immediately comment on the case.

Shares in Al-Ahli, which has a market capitalization of about $2.5 billion, fell 3.5 percent Monday.

A Reuters survey of a dozen international fund managers last month ranked Kuwait lowest among five big Middle Eastern markets for enforcement of regulations against improper or illicit trading.

The CMA, which began operating in 2011, aims to change that and in recent months has been targeting suspected illicit market activity more aggressively, fund managers said.

“The CMA has been active in the last few months and is cracking down on insider and illegitimate trading,” said Fouad Abdul-Rahman al-Hadlaq, deputy general manager at Al-Dar Asset Management. “It has suspended a few big speculators and they can’t buy and sell in the market.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 04, 2014, on page 5.

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

A Kuwaiti court has fined the chairman of Al-Ahli Bank, the country's eighth largest bank, 1.5 million dinars ($5.3 million) over alleged insider trading in the bank's shares.

The Court of First Instance fined Ahmad Yousef Behbehani, a member of a powerful Kuwaiti business family, after a complaint by the Capital Markets Authority, Al-Ahli said in a statement posted on the stock exchange website.

Behbehani said he was not guilty of wrongdoing and would appeal against the ruling to Kuwait's Court of Appeal, Al-Ahli said.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here