Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


UPDATE: Brian Henry admits market manipulation charges

UPDATE: Brian Henry admits market manipulation charges, fined $130,000

(Adds Henry comment)

By Jonathan Underhill

Aug. 7 (BusinessDesk) - Brian Henry, a venture capitalist who helped found Diligent Board Member Services, has admitted breaches of the Securities Markets Act by manipulating the company's shares in early 2010.

At the Auckland High Court, Henry admitted his trading in Diligent shares contravened the law. He was fined $130,000.

Henry admitted that on two occasions he executed what are known as ‘wash trades’, where he was both buyer and seller, moving the stock price without any change of ownership. On four other occasions gave "a false or misleading appearance of trading in Diligent shares" by 'layering,' where multiple buy and sell orders are placed without being completed to give the impression of more activity and force up the price.

“The conduct that Mr Henry engaged in undermines the development of a fair, efficient, and transparent financial market," Justice Venning said in his judgment. "Such market manipulation is likely to undermine the integrity of the NZX and jeopardise the confidence of both overseas and domestic investors in the NZ security markets. A pecuniary penalty is appropriate."

The Financial Markets Authority said it was the first case of market manipulation brought in New Zealand.

US-based Henry had said last year that the FMA's case had no merit, while confirming he had made “errors” in trading the shares in early 2010. He was a former chief executive of Diligent, leaving the company in 2009.

In a statement, Henry said he was satisfied the settlement amount reflected the agreed summary of facts, and that he'd never disputed the trading errors. He sought advice from the FMA's predecessor, the Securities Commission, in 2010 about his obligations, and said he wasn't surprised no action was taken at the time.

“However a year ago – three years after the trades - the FMA decided that they had a valid point to make about the integrity of the market, and I respect that," Henry said. “It is disappointing that it has taken four years and extensive legal fees for both parties to get to this point."

In a separate statement, stock market operator welcomed the High Court decision, saying the successful prosecution "reflects the importance NZX places on upholding the integrity of the markets it operates."

The decision comes a day before Diligent is due to report its first-half results and expected to post reported net profit of $5 million, up from $3.3 million a year earlier, according to analysts at First NZ Capital.

Diligent shares rose 2.4 percent to $4.20 and have gained 7.9 percent this year.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news