Spanish Foreign Minister Sanctioned for Sale of Abengoa Stock

(Bloomberg) -- Spain’s securities regulator sanctioned Foreign Minister Josep Borrell over a 2015 share sale in a further blow to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s fragile government.

Borrell ordered the sale of 9,030 euros ($10,400) of Abengoa SA shares in November 2015 when he had access to private information as a board member of the Spanish renewable energy company, the CNMV said in a statement. The shares didn’t belong to Borrell but to a person close to him and the investigation began last year, the CNMV said.

“The CNMV hereby confirms that it has conducted administrative disciplinary proceedings, initiated on 13 July 2017, in relation to the sale of Abengoa shares, for an amount of 9,030 euros, ordered in November 2015 by Mr. Borrell,” the statement said. “On that date he was a board member of the company and, in the opinion of CNMV, he knew price sensitive information that had not yet been disclosed.”

Since ousting the scandal-ridden government of Mariano Rajoy in a no-confidence vote in June, Sanchez’s Socialists have been hit by a series of allegations against ministers. With control of just a quarter of Parliament, Sanchez has struggled to make his mark.

Borrell’s press office wasn’t immediately able to comment. Europa Press quoted the minister as saying that he’s speaking to his lawyers about how to appeal against the proceedings.

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