Petrofac's chief executive has been sanctioned for insider trading in Italy

Courtney Goldsmith
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Ayman Asfari was accused of insider trading on Italy's stock exchange (Source: Getty)

Italy's market watchdog has taken administrative sanctions against Ayman Asfari, the chief executive of Petrofac, over alleged insider trading.

The Italian National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob) alleged that an executive of an Italian listed company passed inside information to Asfari, which Asfari subsequently acted on by trading in the securities of that unnamed company.

The sanctions imposed by Consob include an administrative fine of €300,000 (£276,000), a 12-month disqualification from taking up, positions including administrative, management or supervisory in any Italian listed companies and an order confiscating property with a value of €385,000.

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Asfari strongly refuted the sanctions, saying: "I absolutely reject this decision which was made entirely in my absence, affording me no opportunity to defend myself.

"I absolutely confirm that no communication ever took place as alleged and I was never in possession of inside information. I have instructed my lawyers to immediately appeal this decision and I am confident it will be overturned."

Rijnhard van Tets, Petrofac's chairman, said: "The board fully supports Ayman in his defence against this decision, the steps he is taking to prove that in no way did he act improperly, and his leadership of the company at this difficult time."

The oil and gas services company's performance has been hit by weak oil prices, and in May, the firm's shares tanked after it revealed an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into suspected bribery, corruption, and money laundering at the firm.

Petrofac's stock was trading 2.41 per cent lower at 429.5p today after the announcement.

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