HTC denies insider trading in settlement with Apple

Taipei, Nov. 13 (CNA) Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. said Tuesday it was not involved in any insider trading in its global patent settlement with rival Apple Inc. "There is strict confidentiality requirement in this agreement." HTC said in an emailed statement. "The company conducts regular compliance training on insider trading stipulations, and frequently reminds employees to abide by these regulations." "HTC advises investors not be misled by false reports," the Taoyuan-based company said. The statement came after HTC shares rose 7 percent, the maximum daily increase, to close at NT$226.00 (US$7.8) on Nov. 9 -- two days before the HTC-Apple settlement was announced -- giving rise to media speculations on insider trading. The stock has plunged more than 50 percent so far this year and hit NT$194 in late October, the lowest since 2005, as the company has faced intensified competition from iPhone maker Apple and Android peer Samsung Electronics Co. On Oct. 26, HTC reported consolidated revenue of NT$70.2 billion for the July-September quarter, a quarterly drop of 23 percent. It has forecast a 14 percent decline in its fourth-quarter revenue due to limited sales contribution from new products. In the third quarter of this year, HTC fell to fifth place in the global smartphone market, with only a 4 percent share, trailing behind Samsung (31.3 percent), Apple (15 percent), Research In Motion (4.3 percent) and ZTE Corp. (4.2 percent), according to the research firm International Data Corp. (IDC). (By Jeffrey Wu)