Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission censures Bank of America for breach of its takeover code

It had earlier this year censured Goldman Sachs for a deal dating back to 2014.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has disclosed that it has censured two units of Bank of America for multiple breaches of the region’s takeover codes, for two deals which occurred in the previous year.

The censures relate to the role played by both units of Bank of America during a partial offer for China Resources Beer (CRB) and the privatization of Power Assets Holdings Ltd.

According to the SFC, the units of Bank of America failed to disclose their dealings in equity swaps in both the deals despite donning on the role of an advisor.

When requested to comment on this report, Bank of America’s spokesman declined comment.

Hong Kong’s takeover code requires that parties and their associates disclose the details of the relevant securities, during an equity swap, irrespective of whether the equity swap is for themselves or for their clients.

“BofAML Group should have taken reasonable care to establish and maintain procedures and systems to guard against non-compliance with the Takeovers Code,” said SFC.

According to the regulator, Bank of America has accepted its “oversight of the disclosure obligations” for both deals and has initiated steps to take remedial measures.

Earlier this year, in February, the SFC had censured Goldman Sachs for infringing on parts of its takeover code while it was acting as financial adviser to Wing Hang Bank Ltd in a $5-billion deal dated 2014.

Categories: HR & Organization, Regulations & Legal, Strategy


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