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The Securities Authority plans to require corporations whose financial results were leaked to the media before official release to handover list of those who had early access to the reports. This comes in the wake of several cases where such information appeared in the media before being made public. Among the companies whose results have been leaked: Bank Hapoalim, Clal Insurance, Migdal Insurance and Africa Israel Investments.

The authority ordered the companies to immediately review procedures for handling such sensitive information, including maintaining secrecy until publication of the reports, as required by law. The authority also plans to summon employees of public corporations, including outside suppliers, who had pre-publication access to this information, to provide explanations.

The Securities Law contains a reporting format which includes instructions relating to the timing of publication and the completeness of the information. A reporting corporation is not allowed to publish information "alternative" to the information required by the law or selective information. In June 2004, the authority issued a circular to companies that warned against leaking information.

According to that circular, "Only one form of reporting exists that satisfies the provisions of the law, and that is the submission to the authority of full reports as prescribed by the law and the regulations, and at the designated times. The obligation to report, uniform format of the report and the dates of reporting for reporting corporations are some of the foundation stones of a sophisticated and efficient capital market. Their purpose will be thwarted unless the format of reporting prescribed by the law and the regulations is adhered to.

"A reporting corporation that elects to publish partial information or information other than that required by law, or that elects to disseminate it other than in accordance with the provision of the law - thereby circumvents those provisions of the law and the regulations that regulate the format and the manner of publication of information," the circular reads.

"Dissemination of information other than in the format prescribed by the law and the regulations is liable to distract the attention of the public from the full reports published in accordance with the law and the regulations, and is also liable to cause the public to be misled," the circular continues.

The authority said it plans to treat this phenomena with the greatest severity, since cases of this type have been occurring more often of late, to prevent damage to the investing public.