BNP Paribas director hit by insider dealing claim

BNP PARIBAS FORTIS director Luc Vansteenkiste was in custody yesterday, after being arrested in connection with a &euro;19.5m insider dealing case.<br /><br />The Belgian businessman &ndash; who joined the Fortis board in 2001 &ndash; is suspected of being involved with insider dealing in Fortis shares during its final days as an independent company. <br /><br />The investigation is over the sale of &euro;19.5m Fortis shares by Belgian holding company Compagnie du Bois Sauvage, where Vansteenkiste is also a director.<br /><br />Compagnie du Bois Sauvage sold the shares on 3 October last year, just before Fortis&rsquo; Dutch operations were nationalised by the government.The entire Fortis group was subsequently broken up. <br /><br />Vansteenkiste, who earned &euro;80,000 in director compensation last year, is the chief executive of foam manufacturer Reticel, and chairman of Belgian photo-finishing company Spector Photo Group.<br /><br />As well as serving on the boards of Compagnie du Bois Sauvage and Fortis Bank, he is also a director at Belgian companies Sioen, Ter Beke Vleeswaren.<br /><br />Compagnie du Bois Sauvage refused to comment on the investigation, although it confirmed it had become involved in an insider dealing investigation earlier this month.