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Friday, February 26, 1999 Published at 17:34 GMT


Business: The Company File

Lord Archer's son faces Swedish share probe

Swedish traders have been stunned by the allegations

The sluggish Swedish stock market is not normally the backdrop for share manipulation, controversy and corporate intrigue.

However it emerged on Friday that James Archer, the son of Tory peer and millionaire author Lord Archer, has been suspended for his job over allegations that he tried to manipulate share prices on the normally prosaic market.

The 24 year old high flying City trader, who was rumoured to be paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a year by investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), is being investigated by the Swedish Stock Exchange.

Swedish financial officials confirmed they were looking into allegations that Mr Archer traded a huge number of shares in wood pulp company Stora, one of Sweden's biggest firms, in a bid to distort the market's leading index. Mr Archer is thought to have traded stock worth more than half a million pounds in one day in December.

Going down in flames

Mr Archer is a member of the Flaming Ferraris, a group of audacious traders who made tens of millions of pounds last year by betting billions of pounds at a time on movements in the world's financial markets.

The Flaming Ferraris are named after their favourite cocktail which they regularly quaffed on Friday nights after a hard week's work.

The two other Flaming Ferraris suspended by CSFB are Mr Archer's bosses, Adrian Ezra and David Cristani.

Swedish trading scandal

Although they are thought not to have been involved in the Swedish trading, they were suspended as part of a wider investigation into Mr Archer's affairs.

Mats Wilhelmsson, head of market surveillance at the Stockholm stock exchange, said his department aimed to complete the investigation next week.

"We do not like our rules violated," he said.

The Securities and Futures Authority, the UK City watchdog, is also believed to be carrying out its own investigation, although it declined to comment.





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