Regulators over the past several years have taken a buzz saw to insider trading, actively pursuing in particular those who leak details about pending corporate deals.
To little avail: The number of leaks is jumping, particularly in the U.S., according to the latest numbers from Intralinks and the University of London. The deals are generating increased profits for the companies involved, the analysis showed.
"On aggregate globally, regulators are placing an increasing focus on new regulations to tackle market abuse and enforcing penalties for financial misconduct. But our data shows this is not translating into fewer deal leaks," said Philip Whitchelo, vice president of strategy and product marketing at Intralinks.
Intralinks tracks share price activity leading up to deals. If activity is "statistically significantly different" over a 40-day period, the deal is considered leaked.
The Securities and Exchange Commission in 2015 tackled cases as diverse as the Shaw Group executive who leaked news of the company's takeover to his brother-in-law; a Swiss trader who used nonpublic information to trade ahead of his company's acquisition by Apple; and friends who traded on the acquisition of Cooper Tire and Rubber by Apollo Tyres.