Broker Al Ramz Capital has said that it "regrets falling short" of its regulatory obligations after being issued with a fine of $205,200 by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) on Monday.
The company and its former head of information technology, Najim Al Attar, were both fined for "serious failures to provide complete and accurate information relevant to a DFSA investigation", the regulator had said in an earlier statement on Monday.
Al Ramz Capital was also ordered to reimburse the DFSA's investigation costs of $100,000, while Al Attar was fined $32,640.
The regulator had begun an investigation into trades on Nasdaq Dubai which it suspected may have contravened rules governing market abuse under the DIFC Markets Law 2012. Although the trades in question were not found to be in breach, the regulator later widened its scope to investigate whether information it had been provided was false, misleading or deceptive.
In its statement on Monday, the DFSA said that Al Ramz had failed to fully comply with its investigation, citing examples of misconduct that included withholding information relating to certain trades, misleading the DFSA about who had used a pair of computers, and failing to disclose that a member of Al Ramz’s senior management was centrally involved in trades.
It also said Al Attar had "engaged in conduct intended to obstruct" its investigation, provided information that was false or misleading, and had concealed other information.
The DFSA's chief executive, Ian Johnston, said in its statement that the company's conduct "caused the DFSA to incur considerable and otherwise unnecessary investigative costs, which is why it is appropriate for Al Ramz to reimburse the DFSA".
In its statement issued on Monday evening, Abu Dhabi-headquartered Al Ramz Capital, which is a subsidiary of Al Ramz Corporation Investment and Development, said that it has improved its systems and implemented changes to its executive leadership since the incident took place.
"Al Ramz assures stakeholders that it takes its regulatory and compliance obligations seriously and that the outcome of the DFSA investigation has been subject to diligent consideration," the company said in its statement.
It also said that it was "fully committed to applying industry best practices, and to its ethical and transparent approach to doing business".
The fines issued against both Al Ramz Capital and Al Attar were discounted because an early settlement was agreed between the parties.
(Writing by Michael Fahy; Editing by Shane McGinley)
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