A Hong Kong court yesterday jailed a former banker at regional brokerage CLSA and an ex-fund manager for insider trading offenses, the latest action under the city’s crackdown on market misconduct.
Allen Lam (林嘉輝), former investment banking director at Hong Kong-based CLSA, was jailed for six months for tipping off Ryan Fong (方仁宏), a former hedge fund manager at HSZ Ltd, on a takeover bid for Media Partners, an information services provider.
Fong was sentenced to a year in prison and fined HK$1.37 million (US$180,000) for purchasing shares in Media Partners following Lam’s tip-off, enabling him to make more than HK$4 million in profit.
Deputy District Judge Eddie Yip (葉佐文) said in sentencing that the offense was serious and imprisonment was an appropriate punishment for the defendants, both of whom had earlier pleaded guilty to their charges.
“Your conduct threatened the integrity of the financial market in Hong Kong and affected investors’ confidence,” he told the pair in the dock.
The prosecution was the eighth made by financial watchdog the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) over the past 12 months, and its third case leading to a prison sentence relating to insider trading offenses.
The latest conviction has underscored the regulator’s bid to toughen enforcement measures against market malpractice.
The SFC said in a statement earlier that Lam tipped off Fong in 2005 that a buyer would soon be acquiring a controlling stake in Media Partners.
CLSA acted as the financial adviser for the buyer in the takeover at the time, although Lam was not directly involved in the deal, it said.
Fong then went about accumulating 10.6 million Media Partner shares for himself and an HSZ fund that he was authorized to trade for at the price of HK$0.60 to HK$0.83 per share, the SFC said.
The takeover was announced in September 2005 and the share price of Media Partners jumped dramatically. Fong sold his shares at HK$1.09 to HK$1.10 per share, making a profit of HK$3.39 million for the HSZ fund and HK$1.02 million for himself.
The two stayed in contact via e-mail, according to the regulator, using a code, “the French car,” to refer to the deal, the SFC said.
NOTABLE SHIFT: By 2030, 50% of all laptops would be assembled in Southeast Asia, while Taiwan would still mostly focus on research and development, a report said Global laptop and desktop computer supply chains are expected to shift significantly away from China in the next 10 years, a Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC, 產業情報研究所) report said. By 2030, only 40 percent of global laptop production would remain in China, said the report, which was released on Thursday. “The reshuffling of the global supply chain will be one of the most important trends in the next 10 years,” the institute said in the report. “In the long run, key component makers will follow laptop assemblers in moving out of China.” The Taipei-based institute predicted most key component makers
Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電). The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei. Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years. Those investments would be
INVEST IN TAIWAN: A metal components casting firm and the world’s largest maker of aluminum bicycle rims also obtained approvals to join the program Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday. SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said. Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries,
Yageo Corp (國巨), the world’s third-largest supplier of multilayer ceramic capacitors, has formed a strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) to develop key electronic components for electric vehicles and digital healthcare, it said yesterday. The alliance is to help Yageo boost its revenue from high-end components for vehicles and industrial, medical and aerospace devices, as well as those used in 5G and Internet-of-Things devices, the company said. The companies signed the strategic alliance agreement at Yageo’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店). Their cooperation is to start this quarter, the companies said in a joint statement. “Through the cooperation