March 13, 2019 / 4:07 PM / a year ago

Italy court upholds fine on Petrofac CEO for alleged insider trading on Saipem shares

FILE PHOTO: Group Chief Executive of Petrofac Ayman Asfari speaks during the Oil & Money conference in London October 1, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - A Rome court has upheld a fine imposed on Petrofac CEO Ayman Asfari by Italian market watchdog Consob for alleged insider trading in Saipem shares, a spokesman for the British oil services company said on Wednesday.

Asfari, who has been CEO at Petrofac since 2002, is alleged to have made a profit on buying shares in the Italian oil contractor just before its then CEO Pietro Franco Tali resigned over a corruption inquiry.

Tali announced he was stepping down as Saipem CEO in a statement issued on Dec. 5, 2012, triggering a share price reaction.

In 2017 here Consob fined Asfari 300,000 euros ($339,000) and seized assets worth around 385,000 euros.

The spokesman said Asfari would be appealing the ruling by the Rome court.

“The decision is a total surprise and hugely disappointing. The charge is completely without foundation and merit,” the spokesman said.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Mark Potter

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