Have Bafin employees speculated with Gamestop shares?

The financial regulator is checking whether two employees have participated in the speculation surrounding the shares of Gamestop and AMC. Because: Speculative commercial transactions are now prohibited at the Bafin.

The speculative business with Gamestop shares is still preoccupying the financial market.

Dhe financial regulator Bafin is investigating in two cases whether employees have carried out unauthorized speculative stock transactions. The deals were noticed during an investigation into employee deals with shares in the US companies Gamestop and AMC Entertainment. This emerges from a response by the federal government to a request from the left-wing financial expert in the Bundestag, Fabio de Masi. The “Handelsblatt” had previously reported on this.

The capricious prices of the American video game retailer Gamestop kept the stock exchanges in suspense for weeks, as did the speculation about the papers of the AMC cinema chain. The value of the shares had increased significantly in some cases. At Gamestop, for example, small investors with concerted purchases forced hedge funds to cancel their bets on a collapse in the price of the securities. This brought the share significant price gains in some cases.

The federal government pointed out that Gamestop and AMC are American companies and that shares in these companies are not subject to the Bafin’s trade ban for private financial transactions. These companies are also not subject to the supervision of the Bafin.

Examination for two people

In a total of two cases (two people), the Bafin checks whether the reported private financial transactions are to be classified as speculative, according to the answer from the Ministry of Finance, which is available to the German Press Agency. From the point of view of the Bafin and the Ministry, this would be unacceptable. Speculative private transactions have no longer been allowed for Bafin employees since October 16, 2020.

In the period between September 1, 2020 and February 10, 2021, according to the government response, four employees bought or sold Gamestop shares 23 times. Four employees also traded AMC shares six times (as of March 22, 2021). The transactions were reported by employees. The examination has not yet been fully completed, “according to the current status, there are no signs of insider trading,” it said.

During the period under review, the first wave of the spectacular exchange of blows between well-organized small investors and hedge funds occurred on the stock exchanges, which initially drove the prices of these stocks up sharply.