Lim Chang-won, 28 November 2018
South Korea’s financial watchdog slapped the local branch of Goldman Sachs, an American multinational investment bank and financial services group, with a fine of 7.5 billion won ($6.6 million) for naked short selling. It’s the biggest fine against a financial institution for naked short selling.
Short selling refers to the sale of borrowed shares in the hope of making a profit from a price fall by buying the shares back at a lower price. Naked short selling, a practice of short selling without borrowing shares, is illegal in South Korea.
The Financial Services Commission (FSC) said Wednesday that Goldman Sachs issued a sell order of stocks worth 40.1 billion won without borrowing stocks for two days on May 30 and 31. As a result, the commission said that about 145 million shares were not delivered for settlement.
Price manipulation was not detected, the commission said, adding an unintentional error by a Goldman Sachs official should be blamed.
In July, prosecutors indicted eight officials from Samsung Securities for selling “ghost” stocks paid to employees as dividends in a fat-finger error. The company had planned to pay cash dividends of 1,000 won to 2,018 employees on April 6, but shares were paid due to a keyboard entry mistake.