In a judgment highly anticipated by firms and their senior managers as well as the regulators, the Supreme Court has overturned decisions of the Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal, holding in FCA v Macris  UKSC 19 that Achilles Macris was not identified in certain enforcement notices and therefore was not entitled to third party rights.
Supreme Court clarifies what is required for “identification” in respect of third party rights under s393 FSMA
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered that Tesco plc and Tesco Stores Limited (together, Tesco) pay compensation to certain Tesco shareholders and bondholders following the FCA's finding that they committed market abuse in relation to a trading update published in August 2014.
On 29 August 2014, Tesco plc published, via a regulatory information service, a trading update which contained a statement as to its expected trading profit for half-year period just ended (the August trading update). In producing that update, Tesco plc relied on information provided to it by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tesco Stores Limited, which was not correct. On 22 September 2014, Tesco plc published a further trading update in which it announced that it had “identified an overstatement of its expected profit for the half year, principally due to the accelerated recognition of commercial income and delayed accrual of costs.”
The Court of Final Appeal has handed down an important judgment regarding bribery charges against former TVB general manager and TV presenter, Stephen Chan and his assistant, Tseng Pei-kun. In a case spanning seven years, Chan and Tseng were twice acquitted at first instance but found guilty of bribery by the Court of Appeal in November 2015. Tseng was found by the Court of Appeal to have offered, and Chan to have accepted, an unlawful advantage under section 9 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO), which governs bribery between private sector actors in Hong Kong.
On 17 February 2017, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal brought to a close the long-running case of DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited v Sit Pan Jit (FAMV 45/2016).
The dispute concerned a claim by DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited (DBS) against its former customer, Sit Pan Jit, for failing to meet margin calls in respect of certain investments, and a counterclaim by Mr Sit against DBS for mis-selling such investments based on misrepresentation, breach of duties in contract and/or tort (common law and statutory) and breach of fiduciary duties.
Last Friday, the former chief executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, was convicted by a criminal court on a charge of misconduct in public office. This is a first-of-its-kind conviction and again signals the willingness of Hong Kong's Department of Justice and the Independent Commission Against Corruption to investigate and prosecute even the most senior government officials. Mr Tsang was sentenced earlier today and received a custodial sentence of 20 months in prison.
The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong has recently sought disqualification orders against listed company directors in a number of court actions commenced in the past few months. The proceedings against the directors have been brought under section 214 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance. If successful, the court has the power to disqualify the relevant directors from being directors or from being involved, directly or indirectly, in the management of any corporation for up to 15 years. The SFC is also seeking compensation orders from certain directors in some cases.
Hong Kong SFC urges intermediaries to review compliance with AML/CFT requirements following identification of deficiencies
On 26 January 2017, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a circular (with Appendix 1, Appendix 2 and Appendix 3) highlighting its concerns regarding compliance by licensed corporations (LCs) and associated entities (AEs) with anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements. The circular sets out the deficiencies and inadequacies in intermediaries' AML/CFT policies, procedures and controls (AML/CFT systems) identified by the SFC in the course of its routine and thematic inspections conducted in 2016. To assist intermediaries, the SFC has further set out some examples of good practices which LCs and AEs are encouraged to consider adopting.
On February 3, 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) added a number individuals and entities to its Specially Designated Nationals ("SDNs") list of blocked persons. OFAC stated that such actions were taken in response to Iran's development of a ballistic missile program.
Hong Kong regulators issue guidance to sponsors, underwriters and placing agents on GEM initial public offerings
New listings on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) in Hong Kong have been repeatedly in the headlines in recent years for dramatic share price increases on their listing debuts and high share price volatility in post-listing periods. This has led to regulatory concerns. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has been working with the Stock Exchange to review listing policy, including a holistic review of GEM, interlinked with a review of backdoor listings, listed shells and companies with prolonged suspensions.
Welcome to the January 2017 edition of our corporate crime update – our round up of developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters. Our update now covers a number of jurisdictions. For the full update on each jurisdiction, please click on the name of the jurisdiction below. Below we provide a brief overview of what is covered in each update.