Sunday, April 20, 2008

Chairman of Oman Cables Industry fined for Insider Trading

In an article that made the front page of the Oman Tribune today, but can't be found on the on-line edition for some reason (so I can't give you a link), it was reported that the Oman Capital Markets Authority (CMA) had fined Janfel LLC a massive 240,000 rials for insider trading in the shares of Oman Cables Industry. Janfel LLC is, reportedly, owned by the Chairman and executive President of Oman Cables Industry. In addition, Janfel LLC also has to repay 173,418 rials in profits from that illegal dealing.

The Chairman of OCI (who was not actually named in the printed article) is Mustafa Bin Mukhtar Bin Ali Al Lawati. The Chairman of OCI was apparently personally fined 1,000 rials and ordered to return 63,559 rials in profits from the illegal purchase and sale of 1,850 OCI shares.

Wow. That must hurt. A total hit of around $1.2 million dollars. Naughty, naughty!

Its also not clear to me who the 'executive president' refered to in the article is. The Managing Director of OCI is Hussain Salman Al Lawati, but I don’t know if that is the same thing as 'executive president', and the Chairman himself is listed on the company web site as being non-executive.

I’ve never, ever seen a report like this before in the Omani press. This is a very interesting development, and must be part of the Government’s efforts to demonstrate an improved transparency and enhanced level of Government Regulatory activity controlling the Muscat Securities Market, which has previously had a bit of a reputation for being dominated by such dealings.

In fact, its hard to put it better than the OCI Chairman himself, who in his recent address to the 19th Annual General Meeting of Oman Cables Industry (SAOG), is quoted as saying, on the topic of Corporate Governance:
On behalf of the Board I am pleased to inform that OCI, an SAOG company, is consistently and progressively updating its work methods and management systems by improving the levels of transparency at all levels in line with international and Oman’s Capital Market Requirements.
Chairmans Report

Muscati, maybe this is one deal it's fortunate you weren’t tipped off on?

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