Japanese Hedge Fund Disputes Insider-Trading Finding

Jul 28 2014 | 11:43am ET

A small Japanese hedge fund is taking on a big foe in its fight to be cleared of four-year-old insider-trading charges.

Stats Investment Management is challenging a potential fine from the Japanese Financial Services Agency over alleged insider-trading by a fund manager at the firm. A battle with financial regulators is rare in the country.

Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission ruled that the Stats manager sold shares of Inpex Corp. on a tip from a Nomura Securities salesman. But that salesman, who previously admitted to passing on the information, now says he does “not really remember” passing the information to the trader. Stats adds that it sold its Inpex shares two days before the SESC alleges the portfolio manager learned of the tip.

Stats, which has US$300 million in assets under management, has vowed to sue the FSA if it levies a fine on the SESC’s recommendation.

“We will fight to the end,” Stats CEO Shogo Sekimura told Reuters.

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