May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc., Japan’s fourth-biggest bank by market value, said it’s being investigated for possible insider trading, the second such probe in two months.
“We are fully cooperating” with the Japanese Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission on the case, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust said in a statement in Tokyo today, adding that it apologizes to customers and stakeholders.
The SESC will seek to fine a fund management arm of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust for insider trading relating to a public share offering of Mizuho Financial Group Inc. in 2010, Reuters reported May 26, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The securities regulator believes an employee of Nomura Holdings Inc., an underwriter of the Mizuho sale, told the fund manager about the offering before it was made public, Reuters said.
Keiko Sugai, a spokeswoman for Tokyo-based Nomura, declined to comment on the report. A spokesman for the SESC wasn’t immediately available to comment.
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust’s Chuo Mitsui Asset Trust & Banking Co. unit was found by the SESC in March to have obtained insider information on a share sale by energy company Inpex Corp. Nomura, which managed the Inpex offering, was involved in that case, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
The SESC recommended fining Chuo Mitsui Asset 50,000 yen ($630) for that breach and didn’t penalize the underwriter, which it didn’t identify.
Shares of Tokyo-based Sumitomo Mitsui Trust fell 1 percent to 204 yen at 10:25 a.m. Nomura fell 1.2 percent to 257 yen. The Topix Banks Index slipped 0.3 percent, and the benchmark Topix dropped 0.3 percent.
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