Tesco shareholders slam executives’ share trades

SHAREHOLDERS want Tesco to tighten rules on when its executives can trade shares, after a senior manager sold stock eight days before the company issued a profit warning that hammered its share price.

Investors said rules need revising to put greater distance between the timing of share deals by executives and significant company announcements.

The world’s third-biggest retailer said on Friday UK chief operating officer Noel Robbins did not know about the imminent profit warning when he sold around £202,000 of shares and neither he nor the company had broken any rules.

Under UK listing rules, executives are barred from trading in shares during so-called close periods between the end of a financial period and the reporting of results.

Tesco closed down 1.4 per cent at 312.35p -- its lowest since March 2009 – after admitting last week it needed to invest “hundreds of millions” to improve its UK stores.