Gov’t home shop­ping work­ers fined for in­sider trad­ing

The Korea Times - - FINANCE - By Park Jae-hyuk [email protected]­re­

Seven em­ploy­ees of Pub­lic Home Shop­ping and one of the state-run re­tailer’s sub­con­trac­tors were col­lec­tively fined 480 mil­lion won ($410,000) in Septem­ber for mak­ing un­fair prof­its by trad­ing stocks us­ing undis­closed in­sider in­for­ma­tion, the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mis­sion (FSC) said Mon­day.

In 2017, they bought Nat­u­ral­endo Tech shares after re­al­iz­ing in ad­vance that sales of EstroG-100 would re­sume on Pub­lic Home Shop­ping.

Nat­u­ral­endo Tech sus­pended sales of EstroG-100 in 2015 after the Korea Con­sumer Agency claimed it had de­tected fake in­gre­di­ents in the firm’s best-sell­ing prod­uct.

Since the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety had con­firmed the prod­uct’s safety in July 2017, the drug maker an­nounced it would re­sume sales of EstroG-100, and the Nat­u­ral­endo Tech shares dou­bled within a month.

The home shop­ping em­ploy­ees and the sub­con­trac­tor prof­ited as they resold their shares.

Their un­fair trad­ing was first re­vealed in 2017, but the gov­ern­ment pun­ished them two years later.

Ac­cord­ing to the FSC, the sub­con­trac­tor was fined the heav­i­est, 190 mil­lion won, as he made the largest profit.

One of the home shop­ping em­ploy­ees was fined 4.8 mil­lion won for just shar­ing the undis­closed in­for­ma­tion with an­other em­ployee, de­spite not mak­ing prof­its through in­sider trad­ing.

“Even if traders are not em­ploy­ees of listed com­pa­nies, they can be pun­ished if they trade listed com­pa­nies’ stocks with in­for­ma­tion re­lated to their jobs,” an FSC of­fi­cial said.

The FSC also re­ferred six full­time pri­vate in­vestors to pros­e­cu­tors dur­ing the third quar­ter of 2019 as they were al­leged to have been in­volved in mar­ket ma­nip­u­la­tion.

Korea Times file

The Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mis­sion’s main build­ing in Seoul

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