UK regulator fines and bans CFD trader for market manipulation

Maria Nikolova

The FCA considers that between January 20, 2017 and May 15, 2017, Corrado Abbattista repeatedly placed in the market large misleading orders for CFDs, referenced to equities, which he did not intend to execute.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a Decision Notice today concerning Corrado Abbattista, an experienced trader and a portfolio manager, partner and Chief Investment Officer at Fenician Capital Management LLP.

The notice imposes a financial penalty of £100,000 on Abbattista and prohibits him from performing any functions in relation to regulated activity.

Mr Abbattista has referred the Decision Notice to the Upper Tribunal (the Tribunal) where he and the FCA will each present their cases. The Tribunal will then determine what, if any, is the appropriate action for the FCA to take, and will remit the matter to the FCA with such direction as the Tribunal considers appropriate for giving effect to its determination.

The regulator considers that between 20 January and 15 May 2017, Mr Abbattista repeatedly placed in the market large misleading orders for CFDs, referenced to equities, which he did not intend to execute. At the same time, he placed smaller orders that he did intend to execute on the opposite side of the order book to the misleading orders.

Through his large and misleading orders, Mr Abbattista falsely represented to the market an intention to buy/sell when his true intention was the opposite. At the same time, his misleading orders were for volumes of shares far greater than the typical market size, which would also have created a false and misleading impression regarding the true supply of and demand for the shares in question to other market participants.

The FCA considers that the fine and the prohibition sought reflect the serious nature of the breach set out in the Decision Notice and should act as a deterrent to other market participants.

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