SocGen In Hot Water, Bear Stearns Accused

CityNews reports that two firms were in the news for the wrong reasons last week.

The Financial Times reports that Societe Generale looks likely to face penalties after Japan's Securities and Exchange Commission (SESC) asked the country's financial regulator, The Financial Services Agency, to sanction the bank for 'a series of exchangeable bond transactions at its Japanese subsidiary that it says broke trading rules'.

The SESC recommendation follows an extensive investigation into around 100 domestic and international brokerage firms operating out of Tokyo. The Japanese regulator will now review the SocGen case and decide on the appropriate penalty, which could include a trading ban for up to 10 days.

CBS MarketWatch reports that a recent US Securities and Exchange Commission filing reveals that a Bear Stearn employee sent out an e-mail to a potential institutional investor which contained 'bogus' earnings projections in respect of an IPO for Open Solutions. The company said that it did not authorize the bank employee to make the alleged claims.

It would also appear that the e-mail was sent out within the so-called 'quiet period' - earnings projections are not supposed to be released until 45 days after a company's stock begins trading. Bear Stearns has made no comment on the story.

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