February 1, 2016 / 11:39 PM / 4 years ago

Australian watchdog says Hochtief admits to breaking insider trading rules

SYDNEY, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The Australian markets watchdog said on Tuesday that German construction firm Hochtief AG has admitted to contravening insider trading rules in relation to an on-market purchase of shares of Leighton Holdings in 2014.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission said in a statement it has started legal action in Federal Court seeking a financial penalty order against the company for insider trading.

It has alleged that Hochtief purchased shares while it was in possession of insider information that Leighton’s financial results were likely to be at the high end of previous earnings guidance.

Hochtief said in a statement that it will submit to the court that its contravention of the rules was inadvertent and that it did not seek or obtain trading profit.

Construction firm Leighton is now called CIMIC Group Limited . (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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