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FCC Trades Before Gates Purchase Studied by Spain Regulator

Spain’s stock market regulator is studying trading in Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas SA just before the announcement that billionaire Bill Gates bought almost 6 percent of treasury stock in the builder.

The regulator, known as the CNMV, is “examining and analyzing” the trades as it typically does when there’s an unusual stock move, Antonio Belmonte, a Madrid-based spokesman for the watchdog, said by phone today. He referred to comments made yesterday by CNMV Chairwoman Elvira Rodriguez at a congress in the country’s capital. A formal investigation won’t start unless indications of wrongdoing are found, he said.

A spokesman at FCC, who asked not to be identified citing company policy, declined to comment. FCC shares closed down 2.2 percent today at 16.60 euros in Madrid.

FCC rose 5.4 percent on Oct. 21, the biggest gain in two months. Hours later, after market close, the Barcelona-based company said in a statement that groups linked to the Microsoft Corp. founder had bought the stake in the Spanish engineering and construction company.

On that day FCC was the biggest gainer of the 30-member Madrid Stock Exchange Basic Materials, Industry & Construction Index, which increased 1.3 percent.

The stock jumped 8.3 percent yesterday after the news to 16.97 euros, compared with Gates’ 14.865-euro purchase price.

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