Police probe Norwegian firm after share sale

24 September 2009

DNO International’s deal with Turkish firm hits its Kurdistan operations

Norway’s financial sector authority Kredittilsynet has instructed the police to launch a probe into the sale of shares from DNO International to Turkey’s Genel Enerji which has crippled DNO’s Kurdistan operations.

It follows the Oslo Stock Exchange announcement on 22 September that a probe into the sale of shares from DNO to Genel Enerji showed that the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami, acted as a middle man for the deal.

Kredittilsynet says it is passing the case to the police’s economic crimes unit for closer evaluation.

The KRG subsequently froze the company’s operations in Iraq for six weeks after claiming that “misleading and incomplete publications” produced by the Oslo Stock Exchange had caused serious harm to its reputation.

On 21 September, DNO said it was considering suing the Oslo Stock Exchange for “wilful breach of confidentiality”.

In June, the Oslo Stock Exchange fined DNO $370,000 for not providing enough information about the share sale made in October 2008.

The bourse argued that the company knew at the time that the shares were sold to a single buyer linked to one of its oil field concessions and should have identified the buyer.

In early September, an Oslo Stock Exchange appeals committee upheld a breach of conduct charge against DNO for failing to inform the stock exchange under the Stock Exchange Act.

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