German financial watchdog Bafin has launched an insider trading probe into a drop in the price of Hugo Boss shares in February, a spokeswoman for Bafin said on Friday. Hugo Boss's stock dropped nearly 20 percent on February 23, after the fashion house warned its full-year profit would decline.
Bafin looked into trade in Hugo Boss shares before and after the announcement as a matter of routine and found data that has prompted it to launch an insider trading probe, the spokeswoman said. "We will see whether the investigation turns up concrete evidence of insider trading," she said, confirming a report by German weekly publication, Der Spiegel.
An insider trading probe at Bafin commonly involves the regulator asking banks for the names of people who bought or sold trades ahead of a big move in a stock price. Then it examines whether these people may have had access to insider information. If there is suspicion of insider trading, Bafin will hand over the evidence to public prosecutors, according to the spokeswoman.
Hugo Boss was not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Andreas Kroener; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)