Croatia: The Government and the MOL could face a lawsuit for manipulation of the stock exchange

31. March 2014. / SEE Energy News

The MOL and the Government concealed the decision on allocation of gas business from INA shortly before the public share offering of INA 2008. Local medias reporting that the Government and the MOL could  face the lawsuits for violations of stock exchange trading, and the claim could be raised by those who sold their shares to  the MOL in 2008, during the initial public offering (IPO), as well as to  those who  have contra offered competitions for the Ina but failed to do so.

According to the article of Poslovni Dnevnik, MOL is in its arbitration claim against Croatia has stated a note from the meeting with representatives of the MOL and the Government in August 2008 from, when according to the Hungarian lawsuit, the agreed disputed business of taking over of  INA’s gas trading business by the Government. The particulars of this agreement was published only in December that year. In the meantime the MOL conducted a successful public offer to purchase of INA’s  shares in September.

It appears that the Government and the MOL violated stock market trading rules without revealing timely information relevant to the business of the company, of which the MOL had  benefits.  The gas business has been labeled as activity of the INA operations, and if the company decided to close that activity before the IPO agreed which would improve its other activities, the public should have been informed about that decision.

Professor of Split Faculty of Law Mr.Hrvoje Kacer said that it was an insider information that affects the competitiveness of prices set in the IPO, and the lawsuits are theoretically possible, whereby the collective complaint would enhance the positions  of INA’s former shareholders. The Braniteljski fund could face difficulties as they sold 7 % of its shares in INA to IPO, and its head at the time was Deputy Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor. Interestingly, shortly before the IPO started in 2008, an official  OMV’s official letter arrived to the Government stressing their interest in acquiring INA shares, so perhaps that company could sue both the Government  and the MOL.

Source; Serbia Energy See Desk

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