Van Hollen, Kennedy Introduce Bill to Block Foreign Executives from Insider Trading at Americans’ Expense
Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and John Kennedy (R-La.), members of the Senate Banking Committee, introduced the Holding Foreign Insiders Accountable Act to hold executives of foreign companies that are traded on U.S. stock exchanges to the same disclosure requirements that U.S.-based firms are required to follow.
“All companies operating on U.S. markets should have to play by the same rules. And when corporate insiders sell their stocks, investors and the American public have a right to know. It’s time to require foreign executives to disclose these trades and provide this information to the public,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“Insiders at companies in Beijing and Moscow have been able to avoid billions in losses on the U.S. stock exchange by playing by a different set of rules than Americans do. This insider trading comes at a cost to American investors. The Holding Foreign Insiders Accountable Act will help stop opportunistic insider trading by requiring foreign executives to disclose trades immediately,” said Senator Kennedy.
Currently, executives of U.S. publicly-traded companies must disclose any trades they make of their own company’s stocks to the SEC within two business days. Meanwhile, executives of foreign firms are not required to make such timely disclosures and are required to file by paper. The lag this system creates means that foreign executives can keep trades private for a longer period of time, which promotes insider trading at the expense of everyday American investors.
The legislation would amend Section 16 (a) of the Securities Exchange Act to require executives of public companies based outside the U.S. to make electronic disclosures of trades in their company’s stocks to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within two business days. The SEC would then make that information available to public, as they currently do with U.S.-based firms.
- Senators Van Hollen and Kennedy recently outlined their bill in the Wall Street Journal.
- In August of last year, reports uncovered that Chinese investors of corporations listed on U.S. exchanges avoided billions of dollars in losses by making seemingly informed sock sales ahead of declines.
Text of the Holding Foreign Insiders Accountable Act is available here.
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