The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has imposed a penalty of S$200,000 against a Singaporean shareholder for providing false information and not disclosing changes about his shares in Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments Limited (ASIL).
The shareholder, Lim Soon Fang, has become the first person to pay a civil penalty for committing breaches against Part VII of the Securities and Futures Act, since civil penalties were applied to them in 2012.
However, a civil penalty action is not a criminal action.
The civil penalty regime is designed to complement criminal sanctions and provide a nuanced approach to combat market misconduct.
Became substantial shareholder multiple times
Lim became a substantial shareholder of ASIL in October 2013, which meant that he owned 5 per cent or more of the voting shares in the company.
For the next year, Lim actively traded shares in ASIL, which caused his holdings to dip below the 5 per cent threshold and go back over it, multiple times.
These events have to be disclosed, but Lim did not do so.
His failure at disclosing these details resulted in him having committed the following offences:
- Failing to notify ASIL that he had become a substantial shareholder of the company on four occasions.
- Failing to notify ASIL of changes in his interests in the company on 32 occasions.
- Failing to notify ASIL that he had ceased to be a substantial shareholder of the company on five occasions.
In addition, Lim also provided false information to ASIL regarding his transaction volume in ASIL shares and his shareholding in the company on three occasions.
Lim said he had been reckless in breaching his obligations and providing false information.
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