Court To Rule On Tiger Ban In Two Weeks

Jun 3 2011 | 12:46pm ET

Tiger Asia Management will know within two weeks whether Hong Kong authorities will be permitted to put a serious crimp in its business.

The special region's highest court is considering whether Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission is permitted to seek a trading ban against New York-based Tiger Asia, which it accuses of insider-trading. The court said yesterday it will decide whether the SFC is allowed to pursue that proposed ban within 14 days.

Tiger this week asked the court to toss the SFC's lawsuit, which also seeks to freeze HK$38.5 million of Tiger Asia's assets as well and to impose trading bans on three Tiger Asia executives, including founder Bill Hwang. The firm said that the SFC should have brought criminal charges in the case, rather than civil charges.

The regulator retorted that criminal charges were impossible, as the alleged criminals are in New York. And it warned that if any of them set foot in Hong Kong, they are liable to be arrested.

According to the SFC, Tiger Asia, on Hwang's orders, made a pair of illegal trades after learning confidential information about two placements of Bank of China shares in late 2008 and early 2009. Those allegations followed 2009 charges that Tiger Asia had illegally traded China Construction Bank Corp. shares.

Last year, Tiger was hit with a Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena, which it said stems from the Hong Kong probe.

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