Australian Securities Regulator Probes Brokerages

Law360, New York (March 11, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Australia's securities watchdog has sent queries to several brokerage firms over rumors of market manipulation and possible insider trading in stock heavily sold over the past several weeks.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission said Tuesday its inquiries into suspicious trading in certain securities had extended to formal requests for information from a “number of market participants.”

According to a report in The Australian newspaper, 10 brokers — including Merrill Lynch, UBS and Austock — have been given “please explain” notices.

The stocks at the center...
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