Maybank Kim Eng working with US authorities in Fortress probe
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.