This is a clear breach of the Take Over Code:
2.2 WHEN AN ANNOUNCEMENT IS REQUIRED
An announcement is required:—
… when, following an approach to the offeree company, the offeree company is the subject of rumour and speculation or there is an untoward movement in its share price;
when, before an approach has been made, the offeree company is the subject of rumour and speculation or there is an untoward movement in its share price and there are reasonable grounds for concluding that it is the potential offeror’s actions (whether through inadequate security or otherwise) which have led to the situation
UPDATE : Informed City co-conspirator emails
What is more significant is the fact that at least one city law firm is in the early stages of rounding up plaintiffs among the fund community for an action relating to the price manipulation of HBOS shares this morning.
Peston admitted “over-egging” the price while the panel stood by and the companies made no announcements. No suspension of trading either.
Funds who sustained losses stopping out short positions entered at around 180 – the key level that broke down on volume over the past couple of days, will be placing the blame fairly and squarely with the entirely false idea given cynically to retail punters by the bbc that the price would be set around the 300p level.
This is going to get very interesting indeed.
UPDATE II : Have just been reminded that Peston wrote Brown’s biography Brown’s Britain.