Ex-DBS Vickers trader Dennis Tey pleads guilty to spoofing Singapore market

Pedestrians walking pass the Singapore Exchange (SGX) signage outside the SGX Centre.
Pedestrians walking pass the Singapore Exchange (SGX) signage outside the SGX Centre.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - A former trader at DBS Group Holdings' brokerage unit was convicted on Friday (March 10) by a Singapore court for spoofing the securities market in the first case brought jointly by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and white-collar crime police.

Malaysian Dennis Tey Thean Yang, 33, pleaded guilty to eight of the 23 charges he faced related to his attempt to artificially move prices through fraudulent securities orders. A broker at DBS Vickers Securities (Singapore) when the offences were committed in late 2012 and 2013, Tey was also charged with misusing other people's trading accounts without consent.

Tey's case is the first pursued jointly by MAS and the police's Commercial Affairs Department since they banded together in March 2015 to probe market misconduct as part of Singapore's efforts to step up policing of its financial industry.

He could be jailed for up to seven years and fined up to S$250,000 for each charge, or both, The Straits Times reported earlier.

Singapore Exchange, which runs the city's securities and derivatives venue, in February said it would focus on cases that threaten market integrity.

According to court papers, Tey sought to manipulate prices by placing orders for contracts for differences in the underlying securities of a number of companies and then deleting the fraudulent orders after his trades.

The fraudulent trades, which involved underlying securities in companies such as GuocoLand and Asia Power, had little or no market impact and Tey's orders were ultimately not filled, his lawyer Adrian Wee said.

The trading strategy was formulated through observation as well as trial and error and Tey stopped trading when he realised they might be unlawful, the lawyer added.

Tey left DBS Vickers in March 2014 and was arrested in May 2015. He was charged in July last year. DBS Vickers could be not be reached for comment.