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Nokian Execs’ Stock Sale Raise Suspicions

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Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported that Nokian Tyres execs sold more than 600,000 euros in stock last autumn prior to its testing scandal. Following the announcement of cheating during tire testing, Nokian stock dropped by 44%.

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The sale of Nokian stock is leading to questions about what nine leading execs knew about the impending scandal, the newspaper reported.

According to Nokian CEO Ari Lehtoranta, the decision to launch an internal investigation was made on Oct. 29, and communicated to three people: internal auditor Pasi Anias, communications director Antti-Jussi Tähtinen, and process development manager Teppo Huovila.

The next day Anias sold 15,200 euros worth of stock options, the newspaper said.

“We didn’t think at that time that a sales ban was necessary,” Lehtoranta told Helsingin Sanomat when asked about the Anias sale. “The amount is quite small.”

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Other executives who sold options in late 2015, were defended by Nokian’s CEO too, the newspaper reported. The paper said Lethoranta claimed the stock price was good and the execs had not received any income from their stock options for years

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