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Arco Falls to Record Low as Insiders Sell: Tallinn Mover

Arco Vara AS fell to the lowest level in Tallinn since its June 2007 listing on reports two board members sold shares in the only listed Baltic property developer this quarter and uncertainty about possible steps by the financial watchdog regarding the company’s management.

The shares fell as much as 3.9 percent to 1.5 euros on the Nasdaq OMX Tallinn exchange in the Estonian capital, to trade at 1.52 euros at 2:53 p.m. in Tallinn, extending losses from the previous session, with trade volume exceeding the average for the past three months by 4 percent.

Board Chairman Richard Tomingas sold 2,045 shares earlier this month, Aeripaeev newspaper reported, citing the Financial Supervisory Authority. It also said board member Arvo Noges sold 8,000 shares this quarter, without saying how it got the information.

Arco last month named Tarmo Sild, a former attorney, as its new chief executive officer, replacing Lembit Tampere “to stabilize, restructure and refinance Arco Vara group and to restore the group’s profitability,” the company said on Oct. 16. The board was aware Sild was found guilty of mediating a bribe in 2006 and paid a fine, Tomingas said then.

“There has been management change in Arco Vara that has been talked about a lot and has triggered a very angry statement by the management board member of the financial watchdog,” said Andres Suimets, the head of Baltic equity sales at Swedbank AS in Tallinn, in an e-mailed comment. “The stock price has definitely been hit by insider sales, both directly as well as what it signals to other investors.”

The financial watchdog may “soon” change bourse rules or propose legal changes to prevent people found guilty by court as criminals from being named as managers of listed companies, Kilvar Kessler, a management board member of the financial watchdog, said in an interview with Aeripaeev last month.

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