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Insider trade seen in eAccess buy

JIJI

An eAccess Ltd. employee who was arrested Thursday on insider trading charges bought shares in the mobile operator via the Internet just hours before Softbank Corp. announced it was acquiring the company, sources said Friday.

Special investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office suspect Yuki Shimada, 27, then secretary to the company’s chairman of the board, knew the announcement schedule and used the information to his own advantage.

He allegedly learned of the acquisition plan at the end of last September and bought 690 eAccess shares before the announcement Oct. 1.

If true, this would be a violation of the financial instruments and exchange law.

According to the sources, Shimada placed a buy order for eAccess shares worth some ¥10 million with a brokerage via the Internet while he was at work on Oct. 1.

Shimada managed to obtain some 690 eAccess shares several hours before 5 p.m. that day, when Softbank announced the acquisition, the sources said.

His position allowed him to access important information. He engaged in stock trading before, but the purchase amounts were smaller, according to the sources.

The share price of eAccess surged from around ¥15,000 to more than ¥60,000 in just over a month after the acquisition announcement.

Shimada did not sell the eAccess shares and obtained Softbank shares through a swap deal. As a result, unrealized profits on his Softbank holdings ballooned to dozens of million yen, the sources said.