Japanese regulator looks to fine Morgan Stanley for market manipulation

Investigation found millions of purchase orders were placed without intention to execute.

Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) has recommended that Morgan Stanley be fined based on the findings of an investigation into market manipulation.

The SESC found a trader at Morgan Stanley had placed orders and conducted trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange over a 14-day period in October 2015, without intention to execute.

Morgan Stanley bought a total of 416,500 Seibu Holdings shares, whilst placing purchase orders for over nine million shares on its own account.

“These constituted a series of sales and purchases and their offers of securities that would mislead others into believing that sales and purchases of the shares were thriving and would cause fluctuations in the market of the shares,” the SESC said.

The regulator has recommended to the prime minster and the commissioner of the Financial Services Agency in Japan that Morgan Stanley be issued a monetary penalty.