Study identifies 'type' most likely inside traders

MIDDLE-AGED men who are company directors, brokers and finance specialists or senior executives are the most likely culprits behind insider trading offences in Australia.

That was one of the findings of the first major study of the enforcement of the nation's insider trading laws released on Thursday.

The University of Melbourne study found 92% of defendants in such cases were men and the most common age group was 30-49 years old.

It also found mining industry stocks were the most common stocks used in such offences, at 37%.

Insider trading is still an uncommon offence and 79 cases have been prosecuted in the past 30 years.

And despite finding the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, was getting better at winning such cases, only 51% of insider trading cases it brought over the period were successful.

That is far below the 95% success rate for all major litigation by the regulator.

Most cases were allegedly insider trades for profits, while 26% were to avoid a loss and in 17% of the cases analysed, the alleged profit was more than $1 million.