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 Securities Lawyer's Deskbook
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General Rules and Regulations
promulgated
under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934





Rule 10b5-1 -- Trading "on the Basis of" Material Nonpublic Information in Insider Trading Cases



Preliminary Note to Rule 10b5-1: This provision defines when a purchase or sale constitutes trading "on the basis of" material nonpublic information in insider trading cases brought under Section 10(b) of the Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The law of insider trading is otherwise defined by judicial opinions construing Rule 10b-5, and Rule 10b5-1 does not modify the scope of insider trading law in any other respect.


  1. General. The "manipulative and deceptive devices" prohibited by Section 10(b) of the Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder include, among other things, the purchase or sale of a security of any issuer, on the basis of material nonpublic information about that security or issuer, in breach of a duty of trust or confidence that is owed directly, indirectly, or derivatively, to the issuer of that security or the shareholders of that issuer, or to any other person who is the source of the material nonpublic information.

  2. Definition of "on the basis of." Subject to the affirmative defenses in paragraph (c) of this section, a purchase or sale of a security of an issuer is "on the basis of" material nonpublic information about that security or issuer if the person making the purchase or sale was aware of the material nonpublic information when the person made the purchase or sale.

  3. Affirmative defenses.


      1. Subject to paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, a person's purchase or sale is not "on the basis of" material nonpublic information if the person making the purchase or sale demonstrates that:

        1. Before becoming aware of the information, the person had:

          1. Entered into a binding contract to purchase or sell the security,

          2. Instructed another person to purchase or sell the security for the instructing person's account, or

          3. Adopted a written plan for trading securities;

        2. The contract, instruction, or plan described in paragraph (c)(1)(i)(A) of this Section:

          1. Specified the amount of securities to be purchased or sold and the price at which and the date on which the securities were to be purchased or sold;

          2. Included a written formula or algorithm, or computer program, for determining the amount of securities to be purchased or sold and the price at which and the date on which the securities were to be purchased or sold; or

          3. Did not permit the person to exercise any subsequent influence over how, when, or whether to effect purchases or sales; provided, in addition, that any other person who, pursuant to the contract, instruction, or plan, did exercise such influence must not have been aware of the material nonpublic information when doing so; and

        3. The purchase or sale that occurred was pursuant to the contract, instruction, or plan. A purchase or sale is not "pursuant to a contract, instruction, or plan" if, among other things, the person who entered into the contract, instruction, or plan altered or deviated from the contract, instruction, or plan to purchase or sell securities (whether by changing the amount, price, or timing of the purchase or sale), or entered into or altered a corresponding or hedging transaction or position with respect to those securities.

      2. Paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section is applicable only when the contract, instruction, or plan to purchase or sell securities was given or entered into in good faith and not as part of a plan or scheme to evade the prohibitions of this section.

      3. This paragraph (c)(1)(iii) defines certain terms as used in paragraph (c) of this Section.

        1. Amount. "Amount" means either a specified number of shares or other securities or a specified dollar value of securities.

        2. Price. "Price" means the market price on a particular date or a limit price, or a particular dollar price.

        3. Date. "Date" means, in the case of a market order, the specific day of the year on which the order is to be executed (or as soon thereafter as is practicable under ordinary principles of best execution). "Date" means, in the case of a limit order, a day of the year on which the limit order is in force.

    1. A person other than a natural person also may demonstrate that a purchase or sale of securities is not "on the basis of" material nonpublic information if the person demonstrates that:

      1. The individual making the investment decision on behalf of the person to purchase or sell the securities was not aware of the information; and

      2. The person had implemented reasonable policies and procedures, taking into consideration the nature of the person's business, to ensure that individuals making investment decisions would not violate the laws prohibiting trading on the basis of material nonpublic information. These policies and procedures may include those that restrict any purchase, sale, and causing any purchase or sale of any security as to which the person has material nonpublic information, or those that prevent such individuals from becoming aware of such information.


Regulatory History


65 FR 51716, 51737, Aug. 24, 2000

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