August 24, 2017 / 12:01 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Italy's markets watchdog sanctions Petrofac CEO Ayman Asfari

* Sanctions include $354,000 fine

* Asfari asks Consob to revoke decision (Adds comments, details, updates shares)

By Sanjeeban Sarkar

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Italy’s markets watchdog has imposed sanctions on Petrofac Ltd CEO Ayman Asfari, including a 300,000 euro ($354,000) fine, in relation to dealing in shares of an Italian company, Petrofac said on Thursday.

The investigation by the Italian National Commission for Companies and the Stock Exchange (Consob) was in relation to a transaction made in 2012 involving the shares of a listed Italian company, Asfari said in a statement.

“The premise of Consob’s case was that I met with an Italian executive who provided inside information. I can show irrefutable evidence that such a meeting never took place,” he said.

Asfari said he did not receive a notification from Consob of the charges and therefore did not have the chance to defend himself.

“It now appears there had been an unsuccessful attempt to notify me of the investigation back in mid 2016. I never received a notification from Consob,” he said.

Petrofac’s Chairman Rijnhard van Tets said the board fully supported Asfari in his defence against the decision, and the steps being taken by Asfari to prove his stand.

Oilfield services company Petrofac said Asfari had asked Consob to revoke its decision as he was not given the opportunity to defend himself, and that he would challenge the decision if it was not revoked.

A Consob spokesman declined to comment about the issue. A Petrofac spokesman declined to comment beyond its statement.

Petrofac said Asfari had informed the company he believed the decision to be wholly without merit, and was determined to contest the decision and the process by which it was conducted, to the fullest possible extent.

The Consob sanctions include a 12-month disqualification from taking up a management role with any Italian-listed company and an order confiscation property with a value of 385,000 euros.

Asfari has been questioned by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office in connection with a global investigation into oil and gas services firm Unaoil.

Petrofac’s shares were down 3.5 percent at 1514 GMT. ($1 = 0.8480 euros) (Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman and David Evans)

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