Tag:Market Misconduct

1
Hong Kong Backs Industry-led Voluntary Code for ESG Ratings and Data Products Providers
2
Hong Kong Proposes Guidelines for Market Soundings
3
United States: SEC Charges Investment Adviser for Inadequate Policies and Procedures Regarding Valuation of Private Fund Assets
4
Australia: ASIC Reports on DDO Compliance by Investment Product Issuers
5
Europe: Significant Changes Proposed to Market Abuse Regulation in the UK
6
United States: A Record Year: SEC FY 2022 Enforcement Actions Bring Big Penalties
7
Australia: DDO Implementation and Enforcement

Hong Kong Backs Industry-led Voluntary Code for ESG Ratings and Data Products Providers

By: Carolyn Sng and Yeu Sook Young

The Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong (SFC) has announced its support for the development of a voluntary code of conduct (VCoC) for ESG ratings and data products providers. The proposed VCoC, which will be open for ESG ratings and data products providers to sign up voluntarily, and will align with international best practices as recommended by the International Organization of Securities Commissions.

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Hong Kong Proposes Guidelines for Market Soundings

By: Carolyn Sng and Tan Choo Lye

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong is consulting on new guidelines to regulate market soundings in advance of transactions such as private placements and block trades. Market soundings are the communication of non-public information (whether price-sensitive or not) with potential investors prior to the announcement of the transaction to gauge investor interest or assist in determining the specifications of the potential transaction. It can be an integral part of price discovery, but the process may be open to abuse if parties trade on the back of non-public information obtained.

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United States: SEC Charges Investment Adviser for Inadequate Policies and Procedures Regarding Valuation of Private Fund Assets

By Todd Gibson, Annabelle North, and Aster Cheng

On 24 May 2023, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the settlement of charges against Sciens Investment Management, LLC and Sciens Diversified Managers, LLC (collectively, Sciens) related to the valuation of certain private fund portfolio investments (Order). The SEC cited the often-used violations of Section 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 206(4)-7, finding that Sciens failed to implement adequate policies and procedures to properly value certain private fund investments.

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Australia: ASIC Reports on DDO Compliance by Investment Product Issuers

By Kane Barnett and Bernard Sia

On 3 May 2023 the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released its review on compliance by investment product issuers of the Design and Distribution Obligations (DDOs). In ASIC’s view, there is still considerable room for improvement by product issuers.

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Europe: Significant Changes Proposed to Market Abuse Regulation in the UK

By Michael Ruck and Aurelija Grubytė

HM Treasury and the FCA have completed their joint review of the criminal market abuse regime, and published a joint statement on 24 March 2023. Their observations are relevant to both the criminal and civil market abuse regimes in the UK.  Most notably:

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United States: A Record Year: SEC FY 2022 Enforcement Actions Bring Big Penalties

By: Keri E. Riemer, Michael W. McGrath, Neil T. Smith, Hayley Trahan-Liptak, and Christopher F. Warner

On 15 November 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its enforcement statistics for its 2022 fiscal year (FY 2022), noting that it filed 760 total enforcement actions — a 9% increase over fiscal year 2021.  This total was comprised of 462 new actions, 169 “follow-on” actions, and 129 actions for delinquent filings.  Money obtained in SEC actions, comprising civil penalties, disgorgement, and pre-judgment interest, totaled a record-breaking $6.439 billion (compared to $3.852 billion in fiscal year 2021).  Civil penalties, totaling $4.194 billion, were also the highest on record.

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Australia: DDO Implementation and Enforcement

By Daniel Knight and Simon Kiburg

ASIC have announced the first enforcement action it has taken in relation to the Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO), which were introduced late last year. The enforcement action shows that, as described by ASIC deputy chair Karen Chester, “ASIC’s focus has now shifted to compliance. Industry has had sufficient time to bed down its implementation of the DDO regime.

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