US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he would sell all of his remaining equity holdings and buy US Treasuries after receiving a letter on Thursday from the federal ethics agency criticizing his asset reporting.
“To maintain the public trust, I have directed that all of my equity holdings be sold and the proceeds placed in US Treasury securities,” Ross said in a statement.
Ross’s holdings were under scrutiny when in June, he was reported to have shorted a shipping firm’s stock days after The New York Times emailed him some questions about his investments and the firm’s links to Russia.
At one point, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law Kirill Shamalov reportedly owned as much as 20% in the firm, Navigator Holdings.
Ross’s sale was worth between $100,000 and $250,000, according to The New York Times.
Ross denied the exchange was a result of insider trading.
“I did not receive any nonpublic information due to my government position, nor did I receive any nonpublic information from a government employee,” Ross said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. “Securities laws presume that information known to or provided by a news organization is by definition public information.”
(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Toni Reinhold)
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Source:: Business Insider