October 18 2006: 6:39 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Investigations of insider trading in corporate takeovers involving hedge funds and private equity firms are on the increase at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC's chairman said Wednesday.
"That is an increasing area of enforcement attention. We have a number of ongoing investigations. The pace of our investigative activity has been quickening on this for some months," said Chairman Christopher Cox.
In fiscal 2006, which ended last month, 20 percent of all SEC investigations opened during the year dealt with insider trading, up from 18 percent in fiscal 2005 and 17 percent in fiscal 2004, according to an SEC spokesman.