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Ex-CIMB banker admits insider trades in Singapore takeovers

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 15:00

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Alan Tay Yeow Kee, a former CIMB Group Holdings Bhd banker, admitted to insider trading on two stocks before the companies received takeover offers.

[SINGAPORE] Alan Tay Yeow Kee, a former CIMB Group Holdings Bhd banker, admitted to insider trading on two stocks before the companies received takeover offers.

Mr Tay, 41, pleaded guilty to trading on price-sensitive information in a Singapore State Court on Friday and was fined S$180,000. He bought shares in Qualitas Medical Group Ltd and welding products supplier Leeden Ltd in 2011 before the information he had was publicly available. CIMB was the financial adviser in both deals, prosecutor Joel Chen said in court. The companies were delisted from Singapore's stock exchange after being acquired.

Mr Tay has had to "shoulder the weight" of the investigation, his lawyer Hamidul Haq said in court. He is remorseful and is unemployed, Mr Haq said.

Singapore has been clamping down on market misconduct to protect its image as a financial hub. The Monetary Authority of Singapore is appealing in court to raise the civil penalties imposed on a divorced couple for unauthorised stock trading, and the regulator has said it will continue to boost enforcement and surveillance abilities to deter criminal behaviour and poor controls.

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Mr Tay, who was an associate director in the corporate client solutions department at CIMB, was also accused of encouraging Cheng Hong Wee Eddy to buy the stocks, according to charge sheets when the men were indicted last year.

Mr Tay persuaded his former schoolmate Mr Cheng to buy shares in Qualitas and Leeden, Mr Chen said Friday. The men split profits of about S$60,000, he said. Charges against Mr Cheng were dropped, though Mr Chen declined to say why.

The criminal case is Prosecutor v Tay Yeow Kee, Singapore State Court.

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