Maybank Kim Eng work­ing with US au­thor­i­ties in Fortress probe

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank Kim Eng said it is as­sist­ing and co­op­er­at­ing with the United States District Court in a case where the in­vest­ment bank’s clients are sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in in­sider trad­ing.

In an emailed state­ment, the bank said: “We are cur­rently as­sist­ing, and ex­tend­ing our full co­op­er­a­tion to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gat­ing this mat­ter. We wish to clar­ify that nei­ther Maybank Kim Eng nor any of its em­ploy­ees is a party to this lit­i­ga­tion in the US District Court in­volv­ing the se­cu­ri­ties of Fortress In­vest­ment Group.”

Me­dia reports said the US Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sions (SEC) froze the as­sets of Maybank Kim Eng’s uniden­ti­fied cus­tomers on sus­pi­cions of in­sider trad­ing.

The reports said in a court or­der dated Fe­bru­ary 24, SEC had al­leged that Maybank Kim Eng cus­tomers prof­ited as much as US$1.7 mil­lion (RM7.6 mil­lion) from pos­si­ble il­le­gal trad­ing ac­tiv­i­ties be­fore Fe­bru­ary 14, ahead of Ja­pan’s Soft­Bank Group agree­ment to ac­quire New York­listed Fortress In­vest­ment Group.

The reports said the Maybank cus­tomers in­volved in in­sider trad­ing were be­lieved to have bought 950,000 shares of Fortress at prices from US$5.92 to US$6.35 per share on Fe­bru­ary 14 be­fore Soft­Bank an­nounced the ac­qui­si­tion and af­ter US mar­kets closed.

They said the SoftBankFortress deal would see Fortress share­hold­ers re­ceiv­ing US$8.08 per share, a 30 per cent pre­mium, as Fortress closed at US$6.21 that day.

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