British Columbia Securities Commission

British Columbia Securities Commission

June 17, 2005 09:30 ET

British Columbia Securities Commission: Commission Finds Promoter Traded on Inside Information and Manipulated the Stock Market

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - June 17, 2005) - The British Columbia Securities Commission has ruled that a stock promoter violated securities laws by trading on inside information and manipulating the market.

Fatir Hussain Siddiqi, of London, England, contravened the Securities Act when he traded in shares of AIS Resources Ltd. while he had inside information about AIS and by manipulating the market in AIS stock. He also violated securities laws when he made undeclared short sales of AIS stock, distributed shares of AIS from a control position without giving the required notice, and acquired a controlling interest in AIS without filing the required news release.

Siddiqi's violations occurred in a one-month period between mid-September and mid-October 2000 through his involvement with AIS, a company listed on the Canadian Venture Exchange (now the TSX Venture Exchange). Siddiqi was in the business of helping public companies raise capital. In spring 1999, Canop Worldwide Corp., also a CDNX-listed company, approached Siddiqi to help Canop raise capital to fund the exploration of an oil and gas property in Tanzania.

During September to October 2000, Canop and Siddiqi reached an agreement about exploration funding for the Tanzanian property using AIS as a vehicle. Siddiqi and related parties also acquired control of Floral Holdings Ltd., a company that owned about 49 per cent of the shares of AIS. The commission panel found that Siddiqi committed insider trading when he traded AIS shares when information about the two transactions had not been generally disclosed.

The commission said that Siddiqi's trading and order activity resulted in a misleading appearance of trading activity in, and an artificial price for, the shares of AIS. Siddiqi traded AIS shares through accounts held at four B.C.-based securities dealers. The panel found that Siddiqi made "wash trades" (trades that do not result in a change in beneficial ownership). It also found that Siddiqi's other trading and order activity had the hallmarks of market manipulation, noting that Siddiqi's trading:

- dominated the market (overall, his activity represented 63 per cent of all AIS trades, 43 per cent of the trading volume, and 52 per cent of the unfilled orders)

- was very active (Siddiqi traded or placed orders every day but one during the period)

- accounted for 41 per cent of the buy trade upticks and 39 per cent of the buy trade new highs

- involved the use of multiple accounts

The panel will review submissions from the parties before it issues sanctions.

The B.C. Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities within the province. You may view the decision on our website by typing in the search box, Fatir Hussain Siddiqi or 2005 BCSECCOM 416.

Contact Information

  • British Columbia Securities Commission
    Andrew Poon
    Media Relations
    (604) 899-6880 or (B.C. & Alberta) 1-800-373-6393