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May 10, 2021

Regulator to probe Hyundai Motor execs for alleged insider trading

PUBLISHED : April 11, 2021 - 18:00

UPDATED : April 11, 2021 - 18:00

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The headquarters of Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia are shown in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul. (Yonhap)

The financial authorities will launch an investigation into executives of Hyundai Motor on allegations that they used undisclosed information regarding Apple’s electric vehicle project to profit from share trading, industry sources said on April 11.

The Korea Exchange has passed on the case to the Financial Services Commission to begin its own probe as early as this month and decide whether to refer the case to prosecutors, industry insiders said.

The KRX launched its investigation during the last week of February after speculation arose within political circles that 12 Hyundai Motor executives had earned illegal gains by selling the company’s stocks from Jan. 11 to 27.

The Hyundai Motor executives reportedly dumped a total of 3,402 shares, worth more than 800 million won ($712,000), just before the automaker’s announcement that its talks with Apple over the EV project had ended.

On Jan. 8, the stock prices of Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia rose sharply on news reports that the two carmakers had held talks with Apple about cooperation on the US tech giant’s “Project Titan.”

A month later the two automakers’ share prices plunged by 6.21 percent and 15 percent, respectively, to 234,000 won and 86,300 won after the failed partnership was announced, industry data showed.

Either the FSC’s capital markets research division or the Financial Supervisory Service market watchdog will lead the envisioned probe, the sources added.

Under current regulations, the KRX must submit reports on its probes into insider stock trading cases to the FSC if it finds evidence of any illegal uses of undisclosed information.

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)

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