Italian regulator to sue BlackRock fund manager

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BlackRock said on Friday that Italy's market regulator has started civil proceedings against one of its fund managers alleging that he used inside information to sell shares in Saipem just before the oil services firm issued a profit warning in 2013.

Reuters reports that Consob, the Italian securities regulator, claimed that Nigel Bolton, a portfolio manager and head of BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Ltd's European Equity Team, used non-public information when he sold more than 2%, or about 10.7m, of Saipem's stock last January.

'While BlackRock is not charged in the proceeding, it may be liable for the actions of its employee,' the firm said in a regulatory filing late Friday, adding that it does not believe that Bolton will be found liable.

The sales that BlackRock said took place between January 25th and 29th, preceded Saipem's announcement on the 29th that it was cutting its 2012 outlook. That move sparked a more than 30% slump in the Italian company's shares.

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Italian regulator brings civil suit against BlackRock fund manager

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