Financial Regulatory Forum

LSE fines Regal Petroleum for misleading investors

November 17, 2009

regal   By Tom Bergin
   LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) – The London Stock Exchange has fined oil explorer Regal Petroleum <RPT.L> 600,000 pounds ($1.0 million) for releasing misleading information to investors four years ago.
   The LSE said statements which Regal released between 2003 and 2005 claiming oil reserves of up to 227 million barrels at a Greek prospect were poorly founded and that the company was slow in telling investors when drilling revealed an absence of oil.
   The news of the dry Greek wells prompted an 80 percent drop in Regal’s share price and led investors to force founder and major shareholder Frank Timis to resign as chairman.
   “The number, nature and duration of the breaches demonstrate a systematic pattern of conduct evidencing a reckless disregard for the AIM Rules by Regal,” said the disciplinary authority for London’s AIM junior market on which Regal is listed. 
   Regal said it was disappointed at the outcome of the LSE probe but added it was pleased to put the matter behind it.
   “At no point has it been suggested that any of the current management team have conducted their responsibilities in anything other than a proper and professional manner,” the company said.
   Most of Regal’s management and directors have changed since 2005.
   Current Chief Executive David Greer said, at the time he was appointed in 2007, that Timis, who is still Regal’s second-largest investor with 8.8 percent of the shares, had signed an agreement which precluded him from interfering with the operations of the company. 
   The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority, which launched a much-publicised drive against market abuse in recent years, decided last year not to proceed with an investigation into Regal. ($1=0.5941 pounds) (Reporting by Tom Bergin; Editing by Greg Mahlich) ((+44 207 542 1029, tom.bergin@reuters.com, Reuters Messaging tom.bergin.reuters.com@reuters.net))
 Keywords: REGAL/ 
  
Tuesday, 17 November 2009 07:52:54RTRS [nLH556033 ] {C}ENDS

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