Tiger Asia Hit With SEC Subpoena Over Insider-Trading Case

Oct 28 2010 | 4:16am ET

Tiger Asia Management’s legal troubles have come home to roost: The New York-based firm, accused by Hong Kong regulators of insider-trading, has been hit with a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tiger Asia told investors in an Oct. 12 letter that it assumes the SEC demand stems from the Hong Kong probe. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has gone to court twice over the hedge fund’s alleged insider-trading of Chinese bank shares, first seeking an asset freeze last August and then in April asking a court to bar the firm from trading in Hong Kong—the first time the regulator has sought such a drastic step.

According to the SFC, Tiger Asia made illegal trades in both Bank of China and China Construction Bank Corp. shares. In the former case, the hedge fund allegedly made the trades after being invited to participate in two placements of the bank’s shares in late 2008 and early 2009. Tiger Asia is accused of earning HK$8.6 million on its first insider-trade and losing HK$10 million on the second.

Tiger Asia has denied any wrongdoing and is continuing to challenge the SFC’s legal maneuvers. It said it is cooperating with the SEC.

The US$3 billion hedge fund said that its trading in Hong Kong had not yet been affected by the SFC actions.

Tiger Asia also took the opportunity to tell investors that it was easing its liquidity terms, offering quarterly withdrawals beginning on Jan. 1.


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