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2 men get jail terms for spoofing index futures, giving SGX false information

THE court has sentenced a pair to four weeks and 16 weeks of imprisonment for "spoofing" in the Singapore derivatives market, and providing false information to the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Jimmy Ng Kian Bin, 36, and Erik Ng Song Hann, 49, were on Oct 7 packed off to jail to start their respective 16-week and four-week jail terms. The case for their co-accused, Joseph Chai Ming Leong, is pending.

All three are Singaporeans from Joerik Financial Pte Ltd, a proprietary trading firm and a trading member of the SGX Derivatives Trading (SGX-DT).

Both convicted Ngs entered and deleted a series of buy and sell orders in 2015 and 2016, inducing other market participants to enter the market in the belief that they were observing real bids and offers. Their conduct is known as spoofing, that is, when an errant trader submits fake orders, which are then rapidly cancelled, to create a false impression of supply and demand in the market for a particular security.

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The SGX was told that the younger Ng was was testing a trading algorithm and that the other Ng was doing arbitrage trading. This, however, was false information.

The 36-year-old Ng faced a total of five charges: four counts of defrauding other market participants by simultaneously entering and deleting a series of buy and sell orders for the SGX MSCI Singapore Index July 2015 Futures (SGN15) in July 2015. The fifth charge was that he conspired with the 49-year-old Ng and Chai to furnish a false statement to the SGX with regard to his trading in the SGN15.

He pleaded guilty to a total of three charges while the remaining counts were taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.

Erik Ng pleaded guilty to two charges - a count of spoofing and furnishing false information each - with the remaining two similar charges taken into consideration.

Chai's two charges relate to providing false information to SGX-DT.