MAS takes Civil Penalty Action against Wong Teck Kui for Insider Trading
Singapore, 25 January 2016… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has taken civil penalty action under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) against Mr Wong Teck Kui for insider trading in the shares of Time Watch Investments Limited (TWI). Mr Wong has admitted to contravening section 219(2)(a) of the SFA and has paid MAS a civil penalty of $110,000 without court action.
2 On 17 and 18 January 2011, Mr Wong, an appointed representative with UOB Kay Hian Private Limited (UOBKH), purchased a total of 1.3 million TWI shares through trading accounts held by his wife, sister and mother with UOBKH while he was in possession of non-public information concerning a proposed voluntary delisting and concurrent exit offer for TWI shares.
3 On 19 January 2011, Red Rewarding Limited and TWI announced a proposed delisting and exit cash offer for TWI shares and Mr Wong made a profit of $43,636 from his insider trades.
4 MAS has also issued a prohibition order to Mr Wong pursuant to section 101A of the SFA, prohibiting him from (i) conducting business in any regulated activity under the SFA or acting as a representative in respect of any regulated activity under the SFA; and (ii) taking part in the management of any holder of a capital market services licence or any person exempt from holding a capital market services licence under section 99(1) of the SFA in Singapore, for a period of two (2) years with effect from 29 January 2016.
5 This matter was referred to MAS by Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.
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(1) of the SFA, whenever it appears that any person has contravened any provision in Part XII of the SFA, MAS may, with the consent of the Public Prosecutor, bring an action in a court against him to seek an order for a civil penalty in respect of that contravention. If the court is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the person has contravened a provision in this Part which resulted in his gaining a profit or avoiding a loss, the court may make an order against him for the payment of a civil penalty of a sum not exceeding:
(a) three times the amount of the profit gained or loss avoided by that person, subject to a minimum of either $100,000 (if the person is a corporation) or $50,000 (if the person is not a corporation); or
(b) (where the contravention has not resulted in the person gaining a profit or avoiding a loss) $2 million, subject to a minimum of $50,000.
(iii) Notwithstanding the above, MAS may also enter into agreements with any person for that person to pay, with or without admission of liability, a civil penalty for a contravention of any provision of Part XII of the SFA.
(B) Insider Trading under Section 218(2)(a) of the SFA
Section 218(2)(a) of the SFA prohibits a person who is in possession of materially price-sensitive information concerning a corporation (to which he is connected), which he knows is materially price-sensitive and not generally available, to subscribe for, purchase, or sell, or enter into an agreement to subscribe for, purchase or sell those securities of that corporation.