BenQ Chairman, President Deny Insider Trading

The chairman and president of Taiwan mobile phone vendor BenQ have denied to local prosecutors that they had engaged in insider trading of the company's shares, BenQ said on Thursday.

Chairman K.Y. Lee and President Sheaffer Lee were questioned by prosecutors for seven hours late on Wednesday as part of an investigation into suspected insider trading. They were released after posting total bail of T$25 million (US$760,000).

"We still believe that all the allegations about them are untrue, and we will try to cooperate fully with the prosecutors," a BenQ spokeswoman said, adding that both men had denied the allegations.

K.Y. Lee posted bail of T$15 million and Sheaffer Lee paid T$10 million, she said.

BenQ shares fell Thursday. The stock has lost more than 20% in the last three months.

Taiwan prosecutors have detained the firm's Chief Financial Officer Eric Yu without bail since March. They have said they believed the company may have sold shares before the firm announced its losses last year after it failed to turn around its loss-making handset business.

BenQ had bought Siemens' ailing mobile phone unit in late 2005, and had poured around US$1.1 billion into the business before it announced last September that its German unit was insolvent.

A supplier to Dell and Hewlett-Packard, BenQ still makes computer components for overseas clients on the contract manufacturing side, and produces flat-screen TVs, digital cameras and laptops under its own name.