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Thailand’s SEC fines on two price manipulation

The Settlement Committee of the Securities and Exchange of Thailand has imposed fines on two price manipulation cases involving the shares of ASCON and KC

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The Settlement Committee of the Securities and Exchange of Thailand has imposed fines on two price manipulation cases involving the shares of ASCON and KC as follows

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(1) Pattanapong Tanumathaya for manipulating the share price of ASCON Construction Plc. (ASCON) as well as Pathaipoom Songkroh and Chalalai Saliwattana for aiding and abetting such manipulation, in the total amount of 48,794,056.20 baht; and

(2) Supranee Yotinopamine, Pongpop Ngamarchariyakul and Somboon Saejao for manipulating the share price of K.C. Property Plc. (KC) as well as Kanit  Palanun and Aiyarin  Phongkaseamhiran for aiding and abetting such manipulation, in the total amount of 2,166,666.66 baht.

Details are as follows:

(1) ASCON price manipulation: following the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)’s report on irregular trading of ASCON shares from January 9, 2006 to January 25, 2007, the SEC probed into the case and found that Pattanapong had traded ASCON shares through trading accounts of five other persons in the manner that boosting and stabilizing the share price as well as matching the trading among those aforesaid accounts in concealment to mislead the public about such share price and trading volume. He had also traded ASCON shares on a continual basis causing the share price to be inconsistent with the normal market conditions to induce the public into trading of such share.

Pathaipoom and Chalalai, then investor contacts of Bualuang Securities Plc. and Seamico Securities Plc., respectively, aided and abetted the manipulative trading by executing such trading orders, taking orders from person who was not the account owner, and concealing the identity of the person who was the real user of those accounts.

Pattanapong’s action was deemed to be in violation of Section 243 (1) in conjunction with Section 244 and Section 243(2) of the Securities and Exchange Act B.E. 2535 (1992) (SEA). The Settlement Committee, therefore, imposed a fine on him in the amount of 48,127,389.54 baht. As aider and abettor,  Pathaipoom and Chalalai were deemed to be in violation of Section 243 (1) in conjunction with Sections 244 and 243 (2) of the same Act and Section 86 of the Criminal Code. The Settlement Committee thus imposed a separate fine of 333,333.33 baht.

In addition, as Pathaipoom and Chalalai are also capital market personnel, their involvements with the aforesaid share manipulation are subject to SEC’s consideration.

(2)  KC price manipulation: Following the SET’s report on irregular trading of KC shares, the SEC probed into the case and found that the share price of KC from May 30 to August 18, 2008 had changes in volumes and prices that were inconsistent with normal market conditions. Such irregular trading was caused by Supranee, Pongpop and Somboon, who had collusively traded KC shares in concealment and on a continual basis by matching the trading among their accounts in high volumes in the manner that boosted and stabilized the share price to induce the public into the trading. Kanit aided and abetted such manipulative trading by facilitating the financial transactions while Aiyarin helped to make trading orders of  KC shares in Supranee’s account.

The acts of Supranee, Pongpop, and Somboon were considered to be in contravention of Section 243 (1) in conjunction with Section 244 and Section 243 (2) of the SEA and Section 83 of the Criminal Code. The Settlement Committee, therefore, imposed a separate fine of 500,000 baht. As for Kanit and Aiyarin who violated Section 243 (1) in conjunction with Section 244 and Section 243 (2) of the SEA and Section 86 of the Penal Code, the Settlement Committee imposed a separate fine of 333,333.33 baht.

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