ICAC arrests brokers

A FORMER trading manager at HSBC Asset Management, the fund management division of the territory's premier financial institution, and two stockbrokers have been arrested by the ICAC in the climax to a massive probe into alleged corrupt security dealing.

All three, including Patrick Chan - who quit the trading arm of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank in November, 1993 - have been freed on bail.

They were arrested last Wednesday.

It is understood the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has quizzed about 100 brokers from more than 50 trading houses in an ongoing investigation in which more arrests are expected.

Chan is accused of cheating a principal client, who has not been named, in a series of deals totalling millions of dollars.

HSBC Asset Management spokesman Nick Hinds said the office was doing all it could to assist the ICAC probe.

'It is our understanding that Patrick Chan has not been charged with any offence,' he said. 'We have co-operated fully with the regulatory bodies throughout their inquiries.' In a statement, the ICAC said: 'In 1994, the ICAC received information from the Securities and Futures Commission that a fund manager might have acted corruptly when dealing with securities transactions.

'The ICAC conducted an investigation, and last Wednesday, arrested the fund manager [who has left his job] and two former dealer's representatives.

'They are now on ICAC bail pending further inquiries.'