INSIDER TRADING: Too Close To the Top

Too Close To the Top

"This affair will not be covered up." So promised Pierre Beregovoy, the French Finance Minister, as he announced a criminal probe last week into an insider-trading scandal that is causing major embarrassment to Francois Mitterrand's government. The suspected scheme was uncovered when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission noticed heavy trading in Triangle Industries, a U.S. holding company, in the days prior to the Nov. 21 announcement of the company's takeover by Pechiney S.A., a French metals conglomerate. Estimated profits by insiders who bought early: $10 million.

Tipped off by the SEC, the French Commission on Bourse Operations zeroed in on...

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