社説:内部者情報取引 徹底解明で信頼回復を



(Mainichi Japan) March 23, 2012
Editorial: Regain financial market confidence through strict investigations, amended laws
社説:内部者情報取引 徹底解明で信頼回復を

Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) recommended that the Financial Services Agency fine Chuo Mitsui Asset Trust and Banking Co. for violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law.  証券取引等監視委員会が、金融商品取引法違反(インサイダー取引)の疑いで中央三井アセット信託銀行に課徴金を科すよう金融庁に勧告した。

Chuo Mitsui was found to have obtained internal insider information regarding the public stock offering of a company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange from Nomura Securities Co., the lead underwriter of the deal.

This incident was the first to expose the collusive ties between a major corporate investor and a leading securities firm.

To restore the confidence that has been lost from the Japanese market, a full-scale investigation into what occurred and the implementation of further preventative measures are crucial.

A Chuo Mitsui fund manager obtained information on the new share issue of Inpex stock in 2010 from a Nomura sales employee before it had been announced.

Based on the information, Chuo Mitsui used Japanese stock funds that it manages for overseas investors to buy and sell Inpex shares, making about 14 million yen in returns.

This is the first time that a trust company -- a major player in the stock market -- will be fined for insider trading.

Compared to cases of illegal trading that take place between individuals, an institutional violation has a far deeper impact on the market.

Chuo Mitsui officials say that in addition to setting up a special investigative committee to look into the case, it will implement measures to prevent such incidents happening again in the future, including prohibiting contact between its staff who manage stocks and sales staff from securities firms.

Chuo Mitsui must take its responsibility seriously, and institute measures to enforce compliance with the law.

Nomura Securities, too, is hugely responsible in this case, which marked the first time that a sales member from a securities firm was found to leak yet-unannounced information to an investor as part of their business transactions.

Securities firms have an investment banking division, which handles companies' share sales, as well as mergers and acquisitions; and a sales division.

Because insider information tends to concentrate in investment banking divisions, securities firms are required to adopt strict measures to prevent any insider information from traveling to their sales divisions.

While it is still unknown how the Nomura sales division employee who leaked insider information to Chuo Mitsui obtained the information in the first place, it's obvious that Nomura's method for information management had been insufficient.

Due to a variety of factors, including a sluggish stock market caused by the Lehman Shock of 2008, securities firms have performed poorly.

If impatience and anxiety with lagging performance is what motivated the recent scandal, then the problem is deeply rooted and serious.

Nomura must conduct an exhaustive inquiry, and re-examine how they handle sensitive information.

In 2010, allegations of violations over public offerings of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and Nippon Sheet Glass Co. shares emerged, bringing with them accusations that overseas funds had been involved.

We urge the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission to cooperate closely with overseas authorities to uncover the truth.

With regards to the latest incident, Chuo Mitsui will only be fined 55,000 yen -- because that was what the management fee amounted to.

But isn't this amount too small for a company responsible for destroying market credibility?

Current laws that prevent whoever leaked the information from being penalized are also at fault.

We seek a re-evaluation of related laws to allow for more effective prevention.

毎日新聞 2012年3月23日 2時32分

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