Primary Markets enforcement outcomes

We make primary markets work well by monitoring market disclosures to ensure that issuers and other market participants are complying with the UK disclosure regime. Where they are not complying, we take action.

When we suspect there has been a serious failing, we use our enforcement powers to deter others from engaging in similar conduct.

See below for a list of recent enforcement outcomes.

Date Issuer/subject Enforcement outcome
October 2020 Aviva plc

Aviva made an announcement about the treatment of some of its preference shares. This announcement was reasonably capable of giving the impression that Aviva intended to take action to cancel them at par value. Aviva had made the announcement when it had, in fact, formed no intention to cancel the preference shares in question. The impression given by the announcement was not accurate. Aviva later clarified its intentions in a further regulatory announcement.

We censured Aviva plc for making an announcement that had the potential to mislead the market, noting this was serious but not intentional. We also took note of the payment scheme for affected preference shareholders in coming to this decision.

October 2020 Asia Research and Capital Management Ltd

The firm failed to notify us and disclose to the public its net short position in Premier Oil Plc built between February 2017 and July 2019.

It was fined £873,118 over transparency failures.

September 2020 Conor Martin Foley

Mr Foley, the ex-CEO of WorldSpreads Limited (WSL), and its holding company WorldSpreads Group plc (WSG), was involved in drafting admission documentation ahead of WSG’s flotation on AIM. These documents contained misleading information and omitted key information that investors would have needed to make an informed decision about the company.

We imposed a public censure on Mr Foley, in lieu of a financial penalty taking account of his financial hardship, for engaging in market abuse (dissemination, manipulating transactions and false or misleading impressions).

June 2020 Redcentric PLC

Redcentric issued unaudited interim results and audited final year results which materially misstated its net debt position and overstated its true asset position in circumstances where it knew, or ought to have known, that the information was false and misleading. As a result, investors were misled and paid more when purchasing shares than they would have done had they known the true position. 

Redcentric has agreed to offer compensation to affected investors who purchased Redcentric shares between 9 November 2015 and 7 November 2016.

December 2019 Kevin Gorman

Mr Gorman sold shares as a person discharging managerial responsibility (PDMR) at Braemar Plc.

Under the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR), persons who are PDMRs are required to notify us and the company of every transaction conducted on their own account above a certain threshold within 3 business days.

We imposed a financial penalty of £45,000 on Mr Gorman for failure to notify the transactions under MAR.

June 2019 Cathay International Holdings Limited; Mr Jin-Yi Lee; and Mr Eric Siu Cathay’s financial performance deteriorated over the course of 2015 due to various issues in its group. In our view, there were serious procedures, systems and controls failings within the company which meant that Cathay did not monitor the full impact of these issues on its expected financial performance for the year ended 31 December 2015 compared to market expectations.

Page updates

19/02/2021: Information added Entries added to table