Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission obtained its latest criminal conviction for insider trading Tuesday when an ex-banker at CLSA Equity Capital Markets Ltd. and a former hedge fund manager both pleaded guilty to charges of insider dealing. The WSJ reports that the two remain in custody and await sentencing on July 13. The case is the SFC’s eighth conviction for insider trading over the past 12 months, and additional cases are pending. Insider trading was only made a criminal offense in Hong Kong in 2003.
As previously discussed here, the SFC alleged that in May 2005, Allen Lam of CLSA tipped off a local fund manager about plans by JCDecaux Pearl & Dean, an outdoor advertising company, to buy a 73 per cent interest in Hong Kong-listed Media Partners International Holdings. CLSA was advising JCDecaux on the transaction. The SFC alleges that the fund manager, Ryan Fong, then purchased more than 10m shares in Media Partners International ahead of the deal’s announcement, dumping them later for a 30-80% gain.