Bank chief accused of taking HK$24.8 million in warrants trade bribery case

Warrants trader in dock after pattern of profits and payments from family accounts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 September, 2013, 9:00am

A former managing director of Deutsche Bank's local warrants business allegedly took HK$24.8 million in bribes to help four investors make a profit of HK$228 million in warrant trading, the High Court heard yesterday.

Ma Sin-chi, 38, pleaded not guilty to four counts of agent accepting an advantage from four investors between January 2007 and May 2008. As a chief warrant trader, he allegedly gave information to the four to assist them in trading derivative warrants issued by the bank.

Investors Ha But-yee, 61, and his sons Ha Shing-ming, 33, and Ha Shing-chi, 30, and his sister Winnie Ha Sau-mei, 40, together denied four counts of offering an advantage to an agent.

The four made profits on 273 days and losses on just 89 days, prosecutor John Dunn told the Court of First Instance jury during his opening address.

Dunn said when Ma recommended a warrant to Ha But-yee, the Ha family accounts would trade in that warrant on the same day, 86 per cent of the time.

"This shows how vital the information given to the Has by the first defendant was, and how much it contributed to their trading success," Dunn said.

The court heard that Ha But-yee was a former licensed broker who was declared bankrupt in 2002 and was banned from holding a broker's licence.

"There are also numerous occasions where, at the request of the second defendant [Ha But-yee], the first defendant [Ma] did special favours for the Ha family, rescuing them when they made mistakes and helping them with their trading," Dunn said.

Between January 2007 and May 2008, HK$24.8 million was transferred from the Has' accounts to Ma's and his wife's accounts in 35 instalments.

The court heard that when Ma was arrested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption in April 2011, he said he received HK$10 million in loans from the Has so that he could buy a flat.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung.