Article from the Singapore Business Times:
"One of Kuala Lumpur's most prominent corporate lawyers, Sreesanthan Eliathamby, was charged yesterday on seven counts of insider trading, according to a report in the online version of The Star newspaper.
The news sent ripples through Kuala Lumpur's legal fraternity as Sreesanthan, 51, is not only a highly respected merger and acquisition (M&As) specialist but a major corporate figure.
The lawyer, a senior partner of Kadir, Andri, Aidham & Partners, sits on the boards of several listed firms, including Maybank, Sime Darby, Guinness-Anchor and Scomi Group. He was also the legal adviser in several of billionaire T Ananda Krishnan's most visible deals, including the RM40 billion (S$16 billion at current rate) privatisation of telco Maxis in 2007".
The official announcement from the Securities Commission (SC) can be found here.
Everybody is innocent until proven guilty. But the fact that the SC goes after a heavyweight must be applauded. And especially insider trading is perceived to be rampant in Malaysia, so it is quite timely that action has been taken in that area.
The details of the charges are quite specific:
"The charges involved three counts of insider trading in the shares of Sime Darby Berhad in 2006, ahead of the acquisition by Synergy Drive of companies within the Sime Darby, Guthrie and Golden Hope groups. The two counts of insider trading in the shares of Maxis Communications Bhd, which were preferred under the Securities Industry Act 1983, were alleged to have taken place during the privatisation of Maxis in 2007.
Two other charges were preferred for insider trading under section 188(2) of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 involving the shares of UEM World Bhd and VADS Bhd in 2008. Dato' Sreesanthan's trades in UEM World were said to have been made with his knowledge of the corporate restructuring of the UEM group, while his trades in VADS allegedly involved his knowledge relating to VADS's proposed privatisation."
The last sentence of the press release is a bit puzzling though: "The SC has been proactively pursuing market misconduct cases ....".
To go after cases that happened six years ago is not really proactive, according to my dictionary.
Proactive: "Acting in advance to deal with an expected difficulty; anticipatory".
Although insider trading is often not easy to prove, six years is a really long time, these cases should be wrapped up more quickly in my opinion: "follow the moneytrail!"