Claim: 'Someone at Merrill screwed up'

Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit was sued by a Portuguese investment firm over a share sale that’s being probed by Italian regulators for potential market abuse.

Bloomberg reports that Amorim Partners claims Merrill Lynch International didn’t reveal the true nature of a 'highly unusual' deal in which the Portuguese company agreed to buy shares in Saipem that were being sold on behalf of BlackRock, according to Amorim’s documents from a London court hearing.

Amorim agreed to buy 150,000 Saipem shares on January 28th, 2013, two days before the oil and gas company plunged 34% to 20.01 euros after cutting its profit forecast. Amorim said a full trial is needed to find out how much Merrill employees knew about the profit warning, responding to a lawsuit filed against it by the bank.

After finding out about the profit warning, an Amorim employee, Nathaniel Glas, told the bank he didn’t want to settle the trade, according to the firm’s court documents. 'Someone at Merrill screwed up because I am not going to believe that they weren’t aware what was going on,' he said in a phone transcript cited in the papers.

Merrill Lynch asked the judge to rule in its favour without a trial because it says Amorim’s defence and counterclaim has no real chance of success.

To access the complete Bloomberg article hit the link below:

BofA's Merrill Sued in U.K. on Saipem Shares in Italy Probe

Barclays Traders Said to Face U.K. Libor Interviews 


image: © Terry Baldock

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