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FMA files civil proceedings over trading in Oceania Natural

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued civil proceedings in the High Court against four individuals in relation to trading in Oceania Natural Limited. (ONL)

The proceedings relate to alleged breaches of market manipulation prohibitions and the disclosure obligations in the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. The FMA is seeking financial penalties.

The four individuals subject to the proceedings are:

• Wei (Walker) Zhong who was the Executive Chairman and CEO of Oceania Natural Limited.
• Lei (Regina) Ding, Marketing Director of Oceania Natural Limited.
• Zhongyang (Sean) Meng, a previous Director of Oceania Natural Limited.
• An individual who has interim name suppression.

The case centres on the trading in shares of Oceania Natural Limited between May 2016 and April 2017. Oceania Natural Limited listed on the NXT board on the 31st March 2016 and delisted on the 29th June 2018.

There are fifteen causes of action being brought before the High Court by the FMA. Nine relate to alleged breaches of disclosure obligations and six relate to alleged breaches of market manipulation prohibitions.

FMA Head of Enforcement, Karen Chang, said: “Maintaining market integrity is core business for the FMA. The FMA has brought, and will continue to bring enforcement action where it finds potential evidence of market manipulation and potential breaches of disclosure obligations.”

NZX and the FMA work closely together to detect and respond to suspicious trading patterns on licensed markets. The trading was referred to the FMA by NZX in December 2016.

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