MAS Imposes Civil Penalty of $100,000 on Mdm Tan Su Lan for False Trading
Singapore, 11 May 2022… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed a civil penalty of $100,000 on Mdm Tan Su Lan for false trading in the shares of Aspial Corporation Limited (ACL) and Far East Orchard Limited (FEOL)1.
2. Mdm Tan had executed her trades in a manner that was likely to create a false appearance with respect to the price of the shares, and was reckless as to whether the trades would be likely to create such a false appearance. In doing so, she had contravened section 197(1A)(b) of the Securities and Futures Act. Mdm Tan has admitted liability for her actions and paid MAS the civil penalty.
3. Mdm Tan had pledged ACL and FEOL shares as collateral for share margin purposes. For three consecutive days in May 2016, Mdm Tan purchased shares in ACL and FEOL near or during the close of the days’ trading sessions, resulting in her purchases artificially raising and setting the closing prices of these shares on all three days. As the closing prices of these shares had an impact on the value of her collateral, her collateral value increased correspondingly.
4. Ms Loo Siew Yee, Assistant Managing Director (Policy, Payments & Financial Crime), MAS, said, “Trading behaviour that has the effect of distorting prices adversely affect the fair and orderly functioning of our capital markets. MAS will take firm action against participants who are reckless as to whether their trades are likely to create a false appearance in the prices of securities.”
(A) The civil penalty regime
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.
Under section 232 of the Securities and Futures Act 2001, 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, or $2 million, subject to a minimum of $50,000 (if the person is not a corporation) or $100,000 (if the person is a corporation).
(B) False appearance with respect to the price of securities under section 197(1A)(b) of the Securities and Futures Act
Under section 197(1A)(b) of the Securities and Futures Act, no person shall do any thing, cause any thing to be done or engage in any course of conduct that creates, or is likely to create, a false or misleading appearance of active trading in any securities on a securities market, or with respect to the market for, or the price of, such securities, if he is reckless as to whether doing that thing, causing that thing to be done or engaging in that course of conduct, as the case may be, will create, or will be likely to create, that false or misleading appearance.
 The case was referred to MAS by the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited. The investigation was jointly conducted by MAS and the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force.