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Court says Warminger manipulated the market

A High Court judge has ruled that Milford Asset Management's Mark Warminger manipulated the market when trading two stocks.  

Friday, March 3rd 2017, 2:35PM

Warminger was accused of misusing his position with an institutional investor to trade shares not for a genuine commercial purpose but to increase their market price so that he could then transact significant off-market sales at a greater profit.

In a statement, FMA chief executive Rob Everett said, “Market manipulation threatens our core objective of promoting fair, efficient and transparent financial markets. For investors to participate confidently in our markets we need to target and respond to misconduct. That is what this case was about. In terms of the broader consequences for conduct within our markets, we need to review and fully consider the judgement before making further comment.”

Warminger's lawyer, Michael Heron QC, said in a statement Warminger was "disappointed that the Court found against him on 2 causes. However, it would be inappropriate to comment further until we have worked through the judgment and what it means for Mr Warminger."

The four-week trial which was held last last year was the country's first market manipulation case to go to trial.

It was argued during the trial that there was insufficient evidence to show that Warminger’s trades amounted to market manipulation, but expert witness John McMahon testified that Warminger’s suspect trading activity created false and misleading appearances in terms of market demand, activity and pricing.

This amounted to price and market manipulation, as alleged by the FMA, he told the court.

Warminger managed funds worth $669 million.

More to come

Tags: FMA fraud

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