Short Reads

No exemption to the prohibition of market manipulation

No exemption to the prohibition of market manipulation

No exemption to the prohibition of market manipulation

06.04.2017 NL law

Market abuse cases are relatively rare in the Netherlands. Recently, the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (College van Beroep voor het bedrijfsleven) confirmed that the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the "AFM") rightfully concluded that a trader manipulated the market by securing the price of financial instruments to an abnormal or artificial level.

The judgment of the Tribunal of 22 February 2017 can be found here (in Dutch only).

Background

A trader participated in 44 auctions to buy shares of small cap fund New Sources Energy N.V. (ticker: NSE, "NSE"). The auction took place twice a day. Rule in the auction was that the auction price would be the price for which the highest number of shares could be traded. The trader entered his bid in the auction seconds before the close of the auction for a high price. In 37 of the 44 auctions, for the trader succeeded in increasing the price by an average of 9.9%. Interestingly, the investors account of the trader was linked to the share price of NSE. The higher the share price on a day, the higher the credit would be that the trader could use with its bank.

The AFM imposed a fine of €100,000 on the trader for violating the prohibition on market manipulation. The District Court of Rotterdam upheld the decision of the AFM.

The Tribunal judgment

The Tribunal also upheld the decision of the AFM that it was the intention of the trader to manipulate the share price, since a higher share price would lead to the availability of a higher credit amount with the trader's bank. The fact that the trader did not otherwise profit from his actions, is irrelevant. The trader could not sufficiently prove that his actions were legitimate and in accordance with the use of accepted market practices.

The judgment illustrates that there is a higher risk for traders who cannot provide a convincing explanation of their behavior that meets the open norms of manipulative behavior. This is even more the case if this trader profits from his behavior. The judgment also shows that, although not statutory required, the intent of a person can be relevant to assess whether a trader manipulated the market and that relying on exemptions is difficult.

Team

Related news

13.03.2019 NL law
Financial Services Disputes in the Netherlands

Articles - What are the most common causes of actions taken by or against financial institutions and service providers in Dutch jurisdiction? Who has a right of action in financial services disputes? Does it make a difference if the customer is an individual or a commercial entity? Is there a specialist court or specialist judges for financial services litigation? Roderik Vrolijk and Daphne Rijkers provide answers to these and other questions about financial services disputes in the Netherlands.

Read more

22.02.2019 BE law
Lost your passport - How a hard Brexit will affect UK financial institutions’ access to the Belgian financial market

Articles - FSMA gives local guidance - Belgian legislature prepares contingency measures The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. Unless specific arrangements granting the UK at least a temporary status quo will be adopted before 29 March 2019, the UK financial industry will be considered third-country entities and will therefore be seriously restricted in carrying on their activities in the EEA, including Belgium.

Read more

12.03.2019 LU law
Entry into force of the RBE Regulation and update

Articles - The Grand-Ducal Regulation of 15 February 2019 on the registration, payment of administrative fees and access to information recorded in the register of beneficial owners (the “RBE Regulation”) entered into force on 1 March 2019 and depicts the practical aspects of the Law of 13 January 2019 establishing a beneficial owner register (the “RBE Law”). Another document, the LBR Circular 19/01 (the “Circular”) issued by the Luxembourg Business Registers on 25 February 2019  further describes the new register of beneficial owners (the “RBE”) with the aim of helping users. 

Read more

Our website uses cookies: third party analytics cookies to best adapt our website to your needs & cookies to enable social media functionalities. For more information on the use of cookies, please check our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Please note that you can change your cookie opt-ins at any time via your browser settings.

Privacy – en cookieverklaring