Japan's Aozora Bank raided following insider-trading tip-off

TOKYO - Japanese regulators are investigating a possible case of insider trading at Aozora Bank. The Japanese Securities and Exchange Commission raided the bank's headquarters in central Tokyo and questioned an employee in its loan division.

In a statement, the bank confirmed it had been informed of the probe by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission but declined to offer any details.

Local press reports have commented that the employee in Aozora's loan division is suspected of trading a company's shares using non-public information about an impending takeover bid from one of the bank's clients.

Aozora posted a net loss of Yen242.6 billion ($2.5 billion) in the 2008-09 fiscal year, which prompted the departure of its chief executive officer Federico Sacasa. However the bank has since forecasted profits of Yen5 billion for the 12 months to March 2010 under its current chief executive officer, Brian Prince.

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