A former analyst for Spain's biggest bank has agreed to pay more than $600,000 to settle federal regulators' charges of trading on confidential information about BHP Billiton's bid last year to buy Potash Corp.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Monday with Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia. He was an analyst for Banco Santander, which advised BHP on the deal. The SEC filed civil charges last August against Garcia, saying he made illegal profits by betting ahead of the bid that Potash's stock price would rise.
Garcia neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. He is paying $576,033 in restitution and a $50,000 fine.
Anglo-Australian BHP is the world's largest mining company. Shares of Canada's Potash, the world's biggest producer of fertilizer minerals, soared after BHP announced the $38.5 billion bid.