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Regulatory Compliance Rising Rapidly in Malaysia (New Guidance)

On 22 June 2015, retired Swiss banker Xavier Justo was arrested by armed Thai police at his brand new boutique hotel in Koh Samui, Thailand. Six months later, Justo provided a British journalist with thousands of documents that started a much larger chain reaction. The documents appeared to shed light on the alleged theft of hundreds of millions of dollars from a state-owned Malaysian investment fund known as 1MDB.

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Insider Trading, Crypto and SPACs top the SEC’s List of Concerns

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released it’s report of enforcement actions for their fiscal year 2021 ending on September 30. 697 companies were hit with violations this year.

New actions were included against emerging threats in the crypto and SPAC spaces, but there was still plenty of enforcement in more traditional areas like insider trading, inadequate disclosure and breaching of fiduciary duty.

What types of misconduct landed individuals and firms on the SEC’s radar this year?

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Insider Trading Leads to Criminal and Civil Penalties

A consulting firm partner who was advising a global bank on the acquisition of a FinTech loan processing firm was charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on two counts of securities fraud for illegal trading using material nonpublic information (MNPI). In a parallel action, criminal charges were also filed in the state of New York that bring a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison.

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Individuals Charged in Relation to Insider Trading in Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) released a press release stating that three individuals were charged for illegally communicating non-public and material information and using such information to buy shares in a company. The investigation was jointly conducted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force.

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Proposed Rule 10b5-1 Changes Signal Increased MNPI Scrutiny

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has released expected proposed amendments to Rule 10b5-1 to enhance disclosure requirements and investor protections against insider trading.  According to the SEC release, the amendments “aim to address critical gaps in the SEC’s insider trading regime and to help shareholders understand when and how insiders are trading in securities for which they may at times have material nonpublic information.”

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