FSA freezes firms’ assets

City A.M. Reporter
THE Financial Services Authority (FSA) has frozen the assets of firms it says manipulated share prices on the London Stock Exchange and other trading platforms, the latest sign of the regulator’s more aggressive approach to suspected abuses.

“These companies engaged in repeated cross-platform market manipulation, which the FSA will not tolerate,” Tracey McDermott (pictured), the regulator’s acting director of enforcement and financial crime said yesterday.

The FSA said it has obtained an interim High Court injunction preventing a number of companies from manipulating shares and accessing assets.

The firms facing proceedings are Da Vinci Invest, a UK-registered but Swiss-based fund manager, a related Singapore-based company Da Vinci Invest PTE, and Mineworld, which is registered in the Seychelles, as well as traders, Szabolcs Banya, Tamas Pornye and Gyorgi Brad.

“The companies and individuals traded across a number of UK trading platforms and the FSA estimates that they made over one million gross profit from this activity,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The FSA said manipulation took place over a year to July 2011.