No. 72 / 2009
Friday 21 August 2009
Bangkok, August 21, 2009 — The Settlement Committee imposed a fine of 6,686,549.80 baht (approximately USD191,044) on Ratchanon Piriyapongpan (formerly Wisit Kanjanopas), a lawyer at Baker & McKenzie Co., Ltd., for using inside information not yet disclosed to the public in the trading of Grand Asset Development Plc. (GRAND) shares for his own benefit while performing duty as a legal consultant for GRAND’s takeover deal, and another fine of 333,333.33 baht (approximately USD9523) on Saowapak Arunvej, his secretary, for aiding Ratchanon in this misconduct.
Following the referral from the Stock Exchange of Thailand in which the SEC conducted further investigation, it was found that in late March 2006, Baker & McKenzie was hired as a legal consultant to a client’s acquisition of GRAND shares for business takeover. Ratchanon, then head of the legal team handling the negotiation of the takeover, had – from the beginning of the negotiation to the finalization of the deal – access to inside information material to the GRAND share price which, at the time, led to a tender offer at above market price. The information was later disclosed to the public on June 30, 2006.
During the time that such material information had not been publicly disclosed, Ratchanon ordered Saowapak to purchase 7,561,200 GRAND shares at the price of 2.96 -4.70 baht per share through a trading account of Saowapak’s relative and gradually sold them off afterwards to make profits for himself.
Ratchanon’s misconduct is deemed taking advantage of investors in violation of Section 241 of the Securities and Exchange Act B.E. 2535 (1992) subject to liabilities under Section 296 of the Act. Both Ratchanon and Saowapak agreed to pay their respective fines.
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