Australia’s corporate regulator has defended its handling of the David Jones director share purchase investigation.
ASIC looked into a share purchases made by two non-executive directors before sales data was released, and — as it was later revealed — after a merger offer had been received.
The regulator, after consulting experts and examining emails, found there was no cause to launch a case.
According to Fairfax, senior commissioner John Price said the regulator only acted on illegal purchases, not ones that might be considered poor form.
“There are two issues that you need to think about here: the first is whether something is illegal or good practice and raising the question of whether there might be insider trading.
“[Good practice is] something you need to ask the market about. It is for the Australian Institute of Company Directors or people in the market to make that kind of commentary.
”Proving insider trading offences is pretty difficult,” as the evidence is difficult to gather, he said.
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