Lawyers are to investigate how a hoax press release announcing a $1 billion investment into OpenAI was published on the London Stock Exchange website.

The bogus release claimed that US private equity business Ripplewood was to invest the money into the maker of generative artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT.

The fake announcement – which claimed that “in the event of a possible IPO a ChatGPT stake is a giant valuable asset”- appeared on the LSE’s regulatory news site.

It added: “The AI-supported investment opportunity is intended to be a user-friendly and cost-efficient solution to optimise investors’ portfolios. 

“The market launch of the AI-supported investment option is planned for the end of 2023 if participation in OpenAI is successful.”

Ripplewood has hired lawyers to investigate the appearance of the hoax corporate announcement, which appeared via German news wire EQS News.

“This is illegal. We have contacted the authorities,” Ripplewood CEO and founder Tim Collins told the Evening Standard.

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A spokesperson for the LSE said: “We were made aware of a potentially erroneous press release being displayed on the London Stock Exchange website and other news platforms.

“The non-regulatory press release originated from one of our newswire partners and upon notification from them, the press release was deleted from our website.”

EQS added: “Due to the negative feedback after the publication today we decided to deactivate the account [which was used to publish the press release] for now. We will further investigate.”

Reports suggest that the press release was part of a ploy to scam people into handing over money to criminals posing as corporate advisers.

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