ASX Laments Hedge Fund Short-Sale Scandal

Sep 26 2013 | 10:24am ET

The Australian Securities Exchange said that the resignation of two U.S. hedge fund managers from its board was "unfortunate."

Manikay Partners founders Russell Aboud and Shane Finemore quit last week, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined their hedge fund and 22 others for violating a rule that bars "shorting into the deal"—participating in a stock offering within five days of having shorted the stock on offer. New York-based Manikay paid $2.65 million to settle the allegations, which do not require malicious intent.

ASX Chairman Rick Holliday-Smith said he was made aware of the potential SEC action weeks before it became public, but accepted legal advice not to act. "It was clear that the matter could not be properly considered by the board until the SEC process was understood and the confidentiality issues were resolved," Holliday-Smith said yesterday. "Clearly, these events are unfortunate for all concerned."

Holliday-Smith said that Aboud and Finemore offered to resign immediately after the SEC announced the fines.

"They did not want any reputational issues for the ASX to arise as a consequence of these matters," Holliday-Smith said.

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