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Hong Kong regulator bans UBS from sponsoring IPOs for one year; StanChart fined

Hong Kong regulator bans UBS from sponsoring IPOs for one year; StanChart fined
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen in Zurich, Switzerland Oct. 25, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo -
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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's securities regulator banned UBS on Thursday from sponsoring initial public offerings (IPOs) in the city for one year for failures as a sponsor of three IPOs.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) also fined the Swiss bank HK$375 million (£35.92 million). The three IPOs UBS was fined for were those of China Forestry, Tianhe Chemicals, and one other firm, the regulator said in a statement.

The SFC also fined Standard Chartered HK$59.7 million for failing to discharge its obligations as sponsor of China Forestry's 2009 IPO.

The regulator suspended the licence of UBS banker Cen Tian for failing to discharge his duties as sponsor principal in charge of the IPO of China Forestry, it said.

"UBS takes note of the findings of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission's (SFC) investigations. We are pleased to have resolved these legacy issues relating to our Hong Kong IPO sponsorship license. We look forward to continuing to service our clients in Hong Kong," UBS said in a statement.

“We welcome the opportunity to resolve this case with the SFC, which stems from matters arising over 10 years ago. We note that on 8 January 2015, Standard Chartered Group announced the closure of institutional cash equities, equity research and equity capital markets activities (including IPO sponsor activities)," StanChart said in a statement.

"Going forward, the Bank remains committed to ensuring that it has a robust controls framework in place to ensure compliance and continues to invest in improving standards across all our business segments,” the British bank said.

(Reporting by Alun John, additional reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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