Prosecutor Ramiro González today asked Judge María Eugenia Capuchetti to order the lifting of market secrecy for buyers of sovereign bonds, as part of the investigation into possible leaks of information regarding the debt buyback announced last week.
The measure will reach individuals and stockbrokers who bought bonds that are being bought back by the government before last Wednesday’s announcement. The prosecutor also asked Capuchetti to subpoena the head of the National Securities Commission (CNV), Sebastián Negri, to testify about the office’s ongoing investigation into the case, which was ordered by Economy Minister Sergio Massa.
The prosecutor also proposed to Judge Capuchetti to request reports from the Central Bank and the Ministry of the Economy on the subject.
The case, led by Capuchetti in Federal Criminal and Correctional Court No. 5, investigates possible “fraud against public administration, violation of secrecy, abuse of authority and violation of the duties of a public official”.
González’s decisions were made following a complaint filed by lawyer Ignacio Abel Uriburu on January 20. communicated to capital market operators that a sovereign bond buyback was to take place” before its official announcement.
Uriburu also said that the people who bought the bonds before the announcement “misused inside and illegal information” and bought the financial instruments with the certainty that in the next few days their price would skyrocket.
Among the alleged clues, Uriburu mentioned a “suspicious” increase in the historical volume of GD30 bond purchases. The buying volume of AE38, AL35 and AL41D bonds also increased in the days leading up to the announcement, according to the lawyer.
Another lawyer, Alejandro Kalbermatten, filed a complaint about it a few days after Uriburu, and the two were later unified. In his presentation, Kalbermatten quoted a tweet from economist Alfonso Prat Gay, a former finance minister in the administration of Mauricio Macri, who said “hopefully no government officials have bought these bonds recently.”
In the meantime, the investigation at the CNV is still ongoing. Two of Argentina’s top 10 stockbrokers testified before the commission yesterday, and individual traders are expected to follow suit next week. Additionally, as the Herald reported, CNV is seeking to expand the current information sharing agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to obtain additional data.