Hyundai ElantraSource: Hyundai

What you need to know

  • South Korea is reportedly investigating trades made by Hyundai executives following reports of an Apple Car deal with the firm.
  • Korea's stock exchange will examine whether executives "may have used undisclosed information to trade shares".

South Korea is to review trades made by Hyundai Executives on the back of Apple Car reports which saw the firm's shares jump sharply.

From Reuters:

South Korea's stock exchange will begin a review next week to examine if executives of Hyundai Motor may have used undisclosed information to trade shares following reports of a tie-up with Apple, an exchange spokeswoman said.

Shares of Hyundai jumped 21% between its initial confirmation of talks on autonomous vehicles between the two firms and an announcement last week that the talks were off.

The chairman of the Financial Services Commission, Eun Sung-soo reportedly told parliament that an exchange could begin next week. A spokeswoman told Reuters that reviews "are to examine whether there is any suspicion (of wrongdoing) or not" and that the length of such reviews varies from case-to-case.

The news follows a report from Reuters last week stating that South Korea's financial watchdog saw no grounds to probe share sales by Hyundai Executives, but that it was monitoring the situation. From that report:

South Korea's financial watchdog sees no grounds currently for a probe after an upswell of investor frustration online over share sales by Hyundai Motor executives in the wake of reports of a tie-up with Apple, an official said on Tuesday. The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) official said the regulator would need to see factual evidence of share trading based on undisclosed information to engage in an investigation. The official declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to media.

"At this point, it is difficult to say this is trading based on undisclosed information," the official said.

That report cited some retail investors expressing concern in online forums "about the possibility of insider trading" after 12 Hyundai mid-ranking executives sold their stocks on the Korean exchange.

In a regulatory filing last week both Hyundai and Kia said they were no longer in talks with Apple about a possible Apple Car deal, sending shares tumbling.