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Sat 25 Jul 2009 11:24 PM

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Kuwait's Al-Raya denies violations in SEC case

US SEC suing firm's CEO, financier Hazem Khalid Al-Braikan, over suspicious stock trades.

Kuwait's Al-Raya Investment Co said on Saturday it has committed no violations after the US Securities and Exchange Commission sued its CEO, financier Hazem Khalid Al-Braikan, over suspicious stock trades.

"The board of directors of Al-Raya Investment Company has reviewed all pending issues related to the civil lawsuit against it, its chief executive and other companies by the SEC," Al-Raya said in a statement obtained by Reuters.

"The board ... confirms the correctness of these dealings made by the CEO on behalf of the company," added the company, which is 10 percent owned by Citigroup Inc.

Al-Braikan said in a separate statement that he had named a US attorney for the case.

He could not be reached for comment when Reuters called.

On Thursday, the SEC sued Al-Braikan and entities linked to him, saying they earned millions from trades after "fraudulent" takeover reports sent the shares of US firms Harman International Industries and Textron soaring.

Al-Raya also denied having links to any leaked information to the media and voiced confidence in its legal situation and its CEO.

Other defendants in the SEC suit include Bahrain-based investment bank United Gulf Bank and Kuwaiti fund manager KIPCO Asset Management Co (KAMCO). Both are part of the Kuwait Projects Co (KIPCO) group, a major holding company affiliated with senior members of Kuwait's ruling al-Sabah family.

On Friday, KAMCO and United Gulf Bank said they made no gain from trading in the shares of Harman and Textron.

The SEC won an emergency court order on Thursday freezing the trading profits in various US accounts.

In a memorandum filed in the US District Court in Manhattan on Friday, the SEC said some of the defendants had asked for funds from the purported illegal trades to be transferred. (Reuters)

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