MAS Takes Civil Penalty Enforcement Action Against Mr Loh Ah Lay Richard for Insider Trading
Singapore, 15 January 2013…The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has taken civil penalty enforcement action against Mr Loh Ah Lay Richard for insider trading under Section 219(2)(a) of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).
2 On 22 February 2007, Mr Loh bought 250,000 shares in GKE International Ltd (GKE), at an average price of $0.142 per share, while he was in possession of non-public materially price-sensitive information concerning GKE’s proposed acquisition of Van Der Horst Biodiesel Pte Ltd (Proposed Acquisition). The Proposed Acquisition was subsequently announced by GKE on 6 April 2007. Thereafter, on 13 and 19 April 2007, Mr Loh sold the 250,000 shares, making a profit of $54,669.
3 Mr Loh has admitted to contravening Section 219(2)(a) of the SFA and paid MAS a civil penalty of $110,000, without court action.
4 The matter was referred to MAS by Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd.
Notes to Editor:
(A) The civil penalty regime
(i) A civil penalty action is not a criminal action and does not attract criminal sanctions. The civil penalty regime, designed to complement criminal sanctions and provide a nuanced approach to combat market misconduct, became operational at the beginning of 2004.
(ii) Under section 232 of the SFA, MAS may enter into an agreement with any person for that person to pay, with or without admission of liability, a civil penalty for contravening any provision of Part XII of the SFA. The civil penalty may be up to three times the amount of the profit gained or loss avoided by that person as a result of the contravention, subject to a minimum of $50,000 (if the person is not a corporation) or $100,000 (if the person is a corporation). Where the contravention did not result in the person gaining a profit or avoiding a loss, the civil penalty may be up to $2 million, subject to a minimum of $50,000.
(B) Insider Trading under section 219(2)(a) of the SFA
Section 219(2)(a) prohibits a person who is in possession of materially price-sensitive information concerning a corporation (to which he is not connected), which he knows is materially price-sensitive and not generally available, from subscribing for, purchasing, selling, or entering into an agreement to subscribe for, purchase or sell those securities of that corporation.