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Memory lapse costs Goldman Sachs JBWere $30,000 in NZX fine

Tuesday 25th May 2010

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A poor memory has cost fund manager Goldman Sachs JBWere $30,000 in fines from NZX’s disciplinary body.

The fine was imposed after the broker failed to enter an order to sell Babcock & Brown notes and told a client there were no bidders for the securities. 

It first failed to enter a sell order of Babcock & Brown subordinated notes in 2008, then told its client “there were no on market bidders for your BNB notes and consequently none were sold.”  

The NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal accepted the fund manager’s explanation that an administrative oversight led to the first breach, and that “inaccurate recall of information” led to the incorrect statement.

In addition to the fine, Goldman Sachs JBWere will have to pay costs up to an agreed cap with the bourse regulator.  

The sale glitch preceded Babcock & Brown’s fall from grace in June 2008, when the infrastructure company’s debt levels spooked investors.

The company’s high gearing ultimately resulted in breaches of its debt covenants, and the firm entered voluntary administration in March last year after bondholders voted down a debt restructuring plan.

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