By Karen Freifeld and Chris Peters
Feb 26 (Reuters) - Eighteen brokerages, including GoldmanSachs, JPMorgan Chase (Xetra: CMC.DE - news) , and Citigroup (NYSE: C - news) ,agreed to end their participation in analyst survey programs asa result of the New York Attorney General's investigation intothe early release of Wall Street analyst sentiment.
The agreement with the New York Attorney General EricSchneiderman's office comes less than two months after BlackRock (Berlin: BLQA.BE - news)Inc, the world's largest asset manager, agreed to endits analyst survey program worldwide.
At that time, the attorney general said that hisinvestigation would continue into the firms that answeredsurveys.
Schneiderman had expressed concerns over brokerage firmanalysts who provide answers to surveys that give traders asneak peek into forthcoming analyst reports, a practice hereferred to as "Insider Trading 2.0."
Schneiderman's office said it entered agreements with thefirms to stop the practice of answering analyst surveysadministered by certain elite, technologically sophisticatedclients at the expense of others.
"Our markets will only be fair and healthy if everyone playsby the same rules, which is why we will continue to take actionagainst those who provide unfair advantages to elite traders atthe expense of the rest of us," Schneiderman said in astatement.
The agreements with the firms are not indicative ofwrongdoing or a final resolution of the investigation, accordingto an agreement seen by Reuters.
Other firms included in the deal are Merrill Lynch, UBS, Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) , Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS - news) , MorganStanley (Shenzhen: 002588.SZ - news) , Deutsche Bank Securities, Jefferies LLC, SanfordC. Bernstein, Macquarie Group, Vertical ResearchPartners (Other OTC: PGPHF - news) , FBR Capital Markets, Wolfe Research, Stifel Nicolausand its units Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Thomas WeiselPartners.
All the firms will continue to cooperate with theinvestigation, which is ongoing and have agreed to suspendparticipation in any survey that relates to companies listed onU.S. exchanges.
None of the firms were available for immediately availablefor comment outside regular business hours.
Last July, Thomson Reuters Corp said it wouldsuspend its early release of the widely watched ThomsonReuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment data to asmall group of clients in response to a probe by Schneiderman. (Reporting by Chris Peters and Varun Aggarwal in Bangalore andKaren Freifeld in New York (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) ; Editing by Supriya Kurane)
- Investment & Company Information