Citic executive charged with insider trading
The Securities and Futures Commission has charged a former Citic Pacific senior executive with insider dealing for allegedly selling shares ahead of a profit warning in 2008.
Simon Chui Wing-nin, a former assistant director in Citic's finance department, appeared in Eastern Court yesterday on two counts of insider dealing. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bail of HK$50,000. Acting principal magistrate David Dufton set a pre-trial review for October 20.
According to the 2010 annual report of Agile Property, Chui joined the group in July last year as the mainland property firm's chief financial officer. Agile last night confirmed that Chui still worked at the company but declined to comment on the court case. People familiar with the situation said Chui has been on annual leave since last week.
The SFC said Chui was assistant director of the finance department of Citic Pacific, the Beijing-backed steelmaker and property developer. It alleges that he sold a total of 81,000 Citic Pacific shares on September 9 and 12, 2008, after he learned the company had suffered a HK$15.5 billion loss from a wrong bet on the future price of the Australian dollar.
The SFC alleges that Chui avoided a notional loss of about HK$1.36 million as the share price dropped substantially after the losses were made public on October 20, 2008.
Insider dealing was made a criminal offence in 2003, and if convicted an offender could face a maximum jail term of 10 years and a fine of HK$10 million.
The amount, in Hong Kong dollars, that the accused is alleged to have avoided losing by selling the shares before the price dropped