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HK regulator drops case against StanChart, UBS over 2009 IPO-sources

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HK regulator drops case against StanChart, UBS over 2009 IPO-sources

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s securities regulator has dropped a lawsuit against Standard Chartered Plc <STAN.L> and UBS Group AG <UBSG.S> over the 2009 IPO of timber company China Forestry Holdings Co Ltd, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) suit filed in January this year was seeking unspecified damages for “market misconduct” over the IPO prospectus of China Forestry filed in November 2009, according to the court documents at that time. China Forestry raised $216 million in the 2009 IPO, but its shares have been suspended since January 2011 and the company is now in liquidation and has been delisted. “The SFC issued the protective writ on s213 action with a view to achieving maximum benefit for investors who have suffered harm from alleged misconduct,” the SFC said in a statement on Friday in response to Reuters request for comment. S213 refers to section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance to combat market misconduct. After considering its legal position, the SFC determined its action against “certain parties was probably time barred”, the regulator said in the statement. Standard Chartered and UBS declined to comment. The sources declined to be named as they were not allowed to speak publicly about the subject. The Wall Street Journal first reported the development.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Elzio Barreto. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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