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Insider trading ends in jail term

THE former investment director of Shanghai-based Everbright-Prameric Fund Management Co was yesterday sentenced to three years in jail with three years' reprieve for insider trading. Xu Chunmao, who the Jing'an District court heard had been in the mutual fund business for more than seven years, was also fined 2.1 million yuan (US$329,437). Xu was the first Shanghai-based asset manager to be sentenced for insider trading, the court said. Xu made more than 2.09 million yuan in illegal profits and that has been confiscated. Xu, 37, abused his position at Everbright-Prameric from July 2006 to April 2010 by leaking investment tips to three of his former university classmates, the court said. The three would buy shares of certain companies on Xu's advice before or at the same time his firm bought into the companies, the court said. The group traded a total of 68 stocks in this way with a combined investment of more than 95 million yuan. China has been stepping up supervision of the mutual fund industry with, so far this year, at least four former fund managers barred from the industry and fined for insider trading. In May, Han Gang, formerly of Great Wall Fund Management, became the first person in China to be jailed for insider trading. He was sentenced to a year in prison. In June, Xie Fenghua, former executive manager of the Investment Department of CITIC Securities, who was on an Interpol wanted list for fraud and insider trading, turned himself in to police in China. Police have frozen Xie's personal savings account totaling more than 20 million yuan. Xie's second wife, An Xuemei, former executive director of Huatai Securities Co, is already under arrest for alleged inside trading. In September, Li Xuli, a former fund manager of Shanghai-based Bank of Communications Schroders Fund, was arrested for alleged insider trading. Li, who worked at the fund from 2005 to 2009, was arrested by Shanghai police on charges involving more than 100 million yuan, China Business News reported.

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