-  Investigations updates from around the world

Friday, 14 March 2014

Hedge fund third to sue over gold fix

Hedge fund AIS Capital Management has followed Kevin Maher and Peter DeNigris by bringing an antitrust class action lawsuit against Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Société Générale and Bank of Nova Scotia, alleging the five conspired to manipulate London's gold fix benchmark.

SEC: charges and settlements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced several enforcement actions yesterday: John Babikian, a promoter of a platform of affiliated microcap stock promotion websites, was charged with securities fraud known as “scalping".

Corruption cost Egypt US$28 billion over 2013

Corruption in Egyptian governmental institutions cost the country around 200 billion Egyptian pounds (US$28 billion) over 2013, the head of the country’s Central Auditing Committee, Hisham Geneina, has said.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Tullow Oil declares force majeure following government investigations

Tullow Guinea, a subsidiary of UK-based Tullow Oil, says the discovery that its business partner Hyperdynamics is being investigated by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) means it can no longer fulfil its contractual obligations.

Corrupt officials to be defamed in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s latest effort in combating corruption is to promote defamation as a potential punishment. According to local daily Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s formal advisory body, the Shoura Council, is urging the National Anti-Corruption Commission to adapt its regulations to allow corrupt officials to be publicly named and shamed by publishing their photos and personal details.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cyprus appoints new central bank governor

Cyprus has appointed a new central bank governor after the previous head resigned amid continuing tensions between the bank and the government.

SEC charges AgFeed with accounting fraud

Headline doesn't make any sense. Who are they charging?

Credit Suisse banker pleads guilty in US court

A former Credit Suisse banker has pleaded guilty to charges that he helped US citizens avoid paying tax to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US Department of Justice has said. Andreas Bachmann, from Switzerland, is one of six former Credit Suisse bankers who have been accused of helping US citizens hide US$4 billion in assets from tax authorities.

Turkey investigates Chanel tax evasion allegations

French fashion brand Chanel has been accused by Turkish prosecutors of tax evasion, according to Hurriyet Daily News. Chanel allegedly avoided paying customs tax by smuggling products into Turkey in suitcases carried by employees.

Second gold fix class action filed

Barclays, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Société Générale and Bank of Nova Scotia face a second Southern District of New York (SDNY) lawsuit alleging they conspired to manipulate the London gold fix, plaintiff-focused litigation firm Kirby McInerney announced yesterday.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Australian regulator to review Leighton trade spike

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is to investigate suspicious trades in shares of contractor Leighton Holdings on Thursday and Friday last week, ahead of a takeover bid announced yesterday morning.

SEC offers underwriters incentive to self-report infringements

The US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a new initiative that offers incentives for underwriters to disclose wrongdoing before the enforcement agency gets wind of it. As part of the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation, the SEC said underwriters of municipal securities can be given favourable settlement terms if they self-report inadequate due diligence, for example regarding the truthfulness of statements by the issuer.

SEC drops Magyar Telekom Montenegro bribery allegations

The US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has abandoned certain bribery charges against executives at Hungarian telecoms company Magyar Telekom because they may be too difficult to present at trial, according to the Wall Street Journal.

China arrests Wison Engineering chairman

The chairman of China-based Wison Engineering has been arrested by Chinese police on allegations of bribery, the company revealed in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday.

Monday, 10 March 2014

UK parliament to grill BoE head

The head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is due to appear before a parliamentary committee on Tuesday to face politicians’ questions regarding the foreign exchange index manipulation scandal.

SEC reportedly joins forex investigation

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the latest enforcement agency to investigate possible manipulation of foreign exchange benchmarks, Bloomberg reports. According to people familiar with the investigation, which is at an early stage, the SEC is looking at whether banks affected prices for options and exchange-traded funds by allegedly rigging important benchmarks in the currency market.

More convictions in Oman oil corruption clampdown

The oil industry corruption trials in Oman saw further convictions last week as a former executive of an engineering firm was handed a 15-year sentence for paying bribes to secure contracts with state-owned oil company Petroleum Development Oman.

Hong Kong financial enforcer expands

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission is increasing its corporate investigations staff by 10 per cent, chief executive Ashley Alder told the Financial Times. The agency is also creating a new team of eight litigators to bolster its enforcement capabilities.

Friday, 07 March 2014

Bank of England made aware of forex rigging concerns in 2006

Foreign exchange traders told the Bank of England about potential foreign exchange benchmark manipulation as early as 2006, according to documents released on Wednesday. Meeting minutes show a bank committee was told of possible attempts to influence currency benchmarks.

Russia revokes three bank licenses

Russia's Central Bank has removed banking licences from Dagestan Bank, Bank Razvitiya Biznesa and Commercial Bank Monolit. The Central Bank said all three banks were involved in dubious transactions.

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