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Warminger mounts defence

Mark Warminger's defence has started to make its case in New Zealand's first market manipulation trial.

Tuesday, October 11th 2016, 5:59AM

Warminger, a portfolio manager at Milford Asset Management, is battling charges of cross-trading and making trades to artificially set prices, which were laid by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).

If found guilty, he could be fined $1 million per trade. There are 10 trades involved.

But his defence team told the court the case was based on speculation, supposition and hindsight.

His lawyer, Michael Heron QC, said the evidence presented fell well short of proving that Warminger had intended to mislead the market. He said he could not, and did not, do so in any of the 10 trades.

Heron said the trading had a genuine purpose and wa snot designed to set or maintain the price of any security.

Warminger's team will call evidence from Professor Michael Aitken, who is a leading expert on market manipulation and who says there is no sign that the trading created, or was likely to create a misleading appearance.

Milford head of investments Brian Gaynor will also be asked to talk about the allegations that Warminger was under pressure because the investments he managed were not performing.

Tags: Market Manipulation

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