New Zealand's first ever insider trading trial has begun for a man accused of dumping thousands of shares after being tipped-off with confidential American market information.
Hamish Marc Sansom faces a charge of breaching the Financial Markets Conduct Act and is on trial before a jury and Justice Anne Hinton in the High Court at Auckland.
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) alleges Sansom, who had been working for Eroad, a transport logistics company, sold 15,000 shares in the company as a result of a former colleague giving him confidential US sales information in 2015.
It is alleged the workmate, Jeffrey Peter Honey, who was also prosecuted, had sent a text message to Sansom after he learned that Eroad's North American sales were poor.
The message included an executive sales summary and also read: "US sales not doing to [well], time to sell up? Confidential obviously."
On September 24, 2015, Sansom then sold 15,000 Eroad shares for $3.41 each.
Four days later news of Eroad's US sales setback became public and its share price tumbled.
By October 2, 2015, its shares were trading at $2.60 each.
Eroad is a publicly listed New Zealand company and also operates in Australia and the United States.
Today, the jury was empanelled before Justice Hinton told it evidence would begin to be heard tomorrow.
The trial is expected to last eight days.