Market Misconduct Tribunal dismisses application by Andrew Left of Citron Research

2 Nov 2015



The Market Misconduct Tribunal (MMT) has dismissed an application by Mr Andrew Left of Citron Research for an order for the production of documents relating to the financial position of Evergrande Real Estate Group Limited (Evergrande), or for a stay of the MMT proceedings commenced by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in relation to a research report on Evergrande published in 2012 (Note 1). 

The MMT also ordered Left to pay the SFC’s cost in relation to this application.

The SFC commenced proceedings in the MMT in December 2014 against Left alleging that a report he published on 21 June 2012 on Citron Research’s website contained false or misleading information about Evergrande. The report stated, among other things, that Evergrande was insolvent and had consistently presented fraudulent information to the investing public (Note 2).  

Left argued that to determine whether the report contained false or misleading information, the MMT had to enquire into Evergrande’s financial position which required a review of its records and documents. Left made an application to the MMT on 17 September 2015 for an order for production of documents, or for a stay of proceedings. 

In dismissing the application, Chairman of the MMT, the Honourable Mr Justice Hartmann, agreed with the SFC’s view that at the time when Left compiled the report, the only information available to him was information in the public domain.

The Chairman noted that the SFC is therefore obliged to present its case on the basis of that information just as Left is obliged to do so (Note 3).

End

Notes:

  1. For further details of the MMT proceedings, please see the SFC’s press releases dated 22 December 2014 and 19 March 2015.
  2. The SFC alleges that Left committed market misconduct within the meaning of section 277 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance. That section provides that a person shall be regarded as having engaged in market misconduct if he discloses, circulates or disseminates false or misleading information as to a material fact which is likely to induce another person to deal in securities in Hong Kong, knowing that, or is reckless or negligent as to whether, the information is false or misleading as to a material fact, or is false or misleading through the omission of a material fact.
  3. A copy of the Ruling is available at the MMT website (www.mmt.gov.hk).


Page last updated : 2 Nov 2015