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BP facing allegations of insider trading

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Steve Chiotakis: The British oil giant BP says it’s the subject of two more investigations in the United States. But one of the probes isn’t about environmental or drilling problems in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The allegations are apparently over insider trading at BP. Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: In its latest profit report, BP admits that both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating issues related to the oil spill. BP says it’s unable to give any further details.

But a London-based stockmarket analyst says he believes he can shed some light on the matter. Rupert Nathan is with research house Fat Prophets. He says there have been claims of suspicious movements in BP’s share price just before the company made key announcements on its progress in curbing the spill:

Rupert Nathan: A hedge fund manager had alleged that some of the trading activity in BP shares was unnatural, indicating at times that those involved must have had some advance warning of announcements that BP was going to make.

BP is also under investigation for breaking U.S. environmental laws, and is so far facing more than three hundred lawsuits.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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