The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is looking into the recent share movements of Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns, according to a report.

The FSA is examining potential insider dealing on shares of Punch and Enterprise, two of the UK's largest pub companies, a report in last weekend's Sunday Telegraph newspaper said, without citing sources.

just-drinks understands from one source familiar with the situation that the regulator has not launched an official investigation but has inquired about unusual share price movements at both groups.

Punch saw its share price almost quadruple at the end of April to reach over GBP0.150 per share, while Enterprise rose by nearly 50% at the same time. Both then saw shares fall, by 13% and 7.5% respectively, on 12 May.

A spokesperson for the FSA refused to comment on the matter when contacted by just-drinks today (14 May).

Commenting on general FSA procedure, he added: "We do regularly look at unusual share price movement as a matter of course and there is a whole variety of things we look at. We might use a preliminary inquiry and then we form a judgement as to whether a formal investigation would take place."

Spokespersons at both Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns declined to comment.

Separately, an influential committee of MPs last week called on the Competition Commission to consider a reform of the "tied" arrangement that binds many of the UK's pubs.

The tie is an issue of particular contention for the lessees who submitted to the MPs' inquiry. Opponents believe the price lessees are charged for beer through their pubco is causing them financial difficulties and is putting them at a competitive disadvantage to the freehouses and managed pubs.