Santander analyst accused of insider trading on Potash bid

25 August 2010

An analyst from Santander has been accused of insider trading in regards to BHP Billiton's takeover bid worth $39 billion for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan, it has been alleged.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has accused Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia, who is the head of Santander's European equity derivatives research unit, of working with accomplice Luis Martin Caro Sanchez to purchase more than $60,000 of Potash stock options in the days before the bid for the company became public.

Between August 12th and 16th, Mr Fernandez Garcia is said to have bought $13,700 worth of call options, selling them on for a profit $576,000 on August 17th when the offer became publicly known, reports Bloomberg.

Mr Caro Sanchez purchased $48,000 of the options, going on to make a profit of $497,000, the SEC stated.

Earlier this month, the SEC charged former Deloitte and Touche partner Thomas Flanagan and his son with insider trading and the pair agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle the case.

By Gary Cooper

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