Hydro reported to financial prosecution authority


Norwegian oil and gas player Hydro has been reported for possible breach of the securities trading act in connection with the handling of confidential information while preparing a draft report of its results for Q4 2006.

The company said that, since the document in question went astray in February 2007, it has implemented a number of measures to improve compliance with internal rules and to make it easier for the company's employees to adhere to these rules.

Hydro said that Norway's financial supervisory authority, which filed the complaint, has pointed to the physical layout of one part of Hydro's office building in Oslo and the fact that dedicated printers were not used in the preparation of the draft quarterly report. The authority believes that these circumstances may have contributed to more people than necessary having the possibility to gain access to the document.

“We are disappointed that we still don't know how the information went astray,” said Cecilie Ditlev-Simonsen, Hydro's chief communication officer. “We believe that Hydro has satisfactory rules for handling confidential information, but we have seen the need to improve compliance.” Hydro engaged law firm Advokatfirmaet Hjort to investigate possible causes for the draft quarterly report going astray.

The firm issued a report to the financial supervisory authority on May 4, 2007. According to Hydro, Hjort did not find the actual cause, but pointed out that the number of people with possible access to the draft quarterly results, combined with insufficient compliance with rules for handling confidential information, as well as the physical design of the company's office premises, increased the risk of information going astray. (Energy business review)


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