Three for mar­ket ma­nip­u­la­tion

The Myanmar Times - - International / Business -

THREE men whose al­leged fraud wiped US$5.6 bil­lion off the Sin­ga­pore ex­change have been charged with ma­nip­u­lat­ing the mar­ket.

Malaysian John Soh Chee Wen and Sin­ga­porean Quah Su Ling are ac­cused of be­ing the “master­minds” be­hind a plot that in­volved us­ing over 180 trad­ing ac­counts to in­flate the share prices of three com­pa­nies, author­i­ties said.

Call­ing it the largest mar­ket ma­nip­u­la­tion in the city-state’s his­tory, pros­e­cu­tors, po­lice and the cen­tral bank said the “com­plex and elab­o­rate fraud” in­volved the shares of Blu­mont Group, Asi­a­sons Cap­i­tal and LionGold Corp.

Mr Soh and Mr Quah al­legedly used the shares as col­lat­eral, con­vinc­ing sev­eral banks in­clud­ing Gold­man Sachs to ex­tend more than S$170 mil­lion (US$119 mil­lion) credit to fi­nance their scheme.

They then used this cash to cre­ate de­mand for penny stocks, with pre­vi­ous re­ports say­ing they man­aged to push up some prices by around 800 per­cent in the nine months lead­ing up to Oc­to­ber 2013.

But on Oc­to­ber 4, prices crashed, wip­ing huge sums off the value of the Sin­ga­pore ex­change. Author­i­ties say the in­ci­dent dented in­vestor con­fi­dence and di­rectly af­fected trad­ing vol­umes in 2014. –

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