The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission fined SFM HK Management Ltd., Soros Fund Management LLC's Hong Kong unit, HK$1.5 million for naked short selling, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 6, citing a statement from the commission.
After Great Wall Motor Co. Ltd., a Chinese automaker, in August 2015 announced a bonus share issue, SFM HK was notified by its custodian that it was entitled to 1.6 million bonus shares, based on its ownership of 808,000 Great Wall Motor shares, according to Bloomberg.
The trade support team of the family office subsequently booked 1.6 million shares to be allotted into its trading system without separating them into a restricted account. The news outlet said, citing the statement, that the system then showed that it had 2.4 million Great Wall Motor Co. shares as being available for trading, despite only a third of that being eligible.
The incorrect information prompted SFM HK's portfolio managers on Oct. 2, 2015, to place a sale order on 2.4 million shares, making it 1.6 million shares short, according to the report.
SFM HK has since moved to enhance internal controls and systems, according to the report. Although this incident is the second such case in over five years, there is no evidence of bad faith, the news outlet added, citing the Hong Kong securities regulator.