Trump Media asks Nasdaq to cooperate with investigations into trading of its shares

By Thomson Reuters Jun 4, 2024 | 5:30 PM

(Reuters) – The company that owns Donald Trump’s social media platform Truth Social said on Tuesday it had requested the Nasdaq’s cooperation with any investigations into the alleged market manipulation in its shares by so-called “naked” short sellers.

Devin Nunes, CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), in a letter to Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said that he has requested Congress to urge the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to issue electronic blue sheets for TMTG’s trading data from April 29 through May 3 and some other dates from May and June.

Electronic blue sheet data contains both trading and account holder information, which provide regulatory agencies with the ability to analyze a firm’s trading activity.

Nunes said that the “anomalies” around trading of TMTG shares “appear to be growing even more severe,” citing data from the SEC.

He requested data about financial firms like Citadel Securities, Jane Street Capital and UBS.

The CEO asked the Nasdaq to “fulsomely cooperate with any and all congressional or other investigations into these firms—including by promptly providing responsive data within Nasdaq’s possession.”

Nunes had previously written to Friedman alerting the exchange to “potential market manipulation” in TMTG’s stock, asking the exchange to help prevent alleged manipulation.

“Naked” short-selling, which is generally illegal in the United States, involves selling shares without first borrowing them or determining they can be borrowed, creating the risk the seller may not be able to deliver the shares.

The company in late May asked the commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions to open an investigation into alleged “illicit activities” in the trading of its shares.

TMTG has been on a roller-coaster ride since going public in March this year. An army of Trump supporters and speculators snapped up its shares, sending them soaring as much as 59% in their Nasdaq debut, but the stock has since reversed those gains.

(Reporting by Juby Babu in Mexico City; Editing by Maju Samuel)