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Fairfax Financial's (T.FFH) Prem Watsa in deep with Quebec regulator over alleged insider trading

Canadian Press, The Canadian Press
4 Comments| August 1, 2014


TORONTO _ Billionaire investor Prem Watsa is facing an investigation by Quebec's securities regulator over possible insider trading or tipping.

Fairfax Financial (TSX:FFH, Stock Forum) disclosed the information in filings for its latest financial results.

The investigation involves Watsa, who is chairman and chief executive of the investment firm, and the company's president Paul Rivett.

Insider trading happens when an individual has access to confidential information and then uses it to trade on a stock exchange.

Tipping involves passing on insider information to a second party who then trades on the knowledge.

Further details were not revealed as the investigation is ongoing.

Watsa briefly addressed the disclosure on Fairfax's conference call Friday morning.

``While we are not permitted to give you any further details at this time, I can say there is no personal trading involved,'' he said.

``We are confident that we did nothing wrong.''

His office declined requests for further comment, while a call to the Quebec regulator, Autorite des marches financiers, was not immediately returned.

Fairfax is an insurance and investment company that is involved in a variety of areas, including property and casualty insurance. It also has a stake in smartphone company BlackBerry (TSX:BB).

On Thursday, the firm reported that net earnings grew to US$363.7 million from a loss of $157.8 million a year earlier when it booked losses in its bond portfolio.

The profit was worth $16.15 per diluted share compared with $8.55 per share a year ago.

Gains on investments were $409 million versus a loss on investments of $415.7 million.

Revenue grew to $2.41 billion from $1.36 billion.

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samrak
Actually, though I have never met the man, he has a reputation of running his business honestly. Fairfax has typically been involved in friendly investments and mergers as opposed to hostile takeovers and if you look, you will notice that normally Fairfax is a buy and hold investor. Or at least a buy low, hold, then sell high investor.
1.5 stars
August 22, 2014
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biloshi
Is this the same Fairfax that sold all their Chorus Aviation shares at around $4.00 just before Chorus announced a Dividend cut which resulted in the share price falling to $2.00????
2.5 stars
August 1, 2014
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billyshort
pucking gangsters
2.5 stars
August 3, 2014
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HypeHater
I'm not in the least surprised. Watsa is a pump and dump artist which is representative of the majority of those who run these holding companies. The currency of the realm is insider knowledge. Who has it and when makes all the difference when it comes time to cash in your casino chips in this market. Too bad his pumping of BB stock didn't work out so well but you can't aim em all eh Prem?
4 stars
August 1, 2014
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