Update: 12 March 2012: the decision of the AFM has become irreversible by law on 17 november 2011. The fine has been moderated to €10,000. There is no possibility of filing an objection or appeal against the decision.
On 19 October 2010, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) imposed an administrative fine of € 24,000 on Mr B.J.G Baars. The AFM is of the opinion that Mr Baars violated the prohibition on market manipulation. The following facts and circumstances were relevant to that judgment.
From 1 January 2008 to 30 March 2009, Mr Baars regularly purchased 1 share in the funds Qurius N.V. (Qurius) and Tie Holding N.V. (Tie), often also towards the end of the trading day. In doing so he caused an increase in the (closing) price in 76% of the transactions he performed in the Qurius fund and in 80% of the transactions he performed in the Tie fund. Mr Baars' statements showed that his actions were explicitly intended to increase the prices of these funds. Other circumstances also support the AFM's judgment that this was his intention. For example, the fact that he, in a large number of cases, placed enthusing messages about the two funds on the internet, either before or after his transactions.
This means, in the opinion of the AFM, that Mr Baars acted in violation of Article 05:58, first paragraph, part b, of the Financial Supervision Act (Wft). This provision prohibits parties that are active in the financial markets from manipulating the market.
The AFM has mitigated the fine from € 96,000 to € 24,000.
Interested parties can submit the AFM's decision to the courts for review. If you have any questions or comments you can contact the Financial Markets Information Line on: 0900-5400 540 (5 eurocents per minute).
The AFM promotes fairness and transparency within financial markets. We are the independent supervisory authority for the savings, lending, investment and insurance markets. The AFM promotes the conscientious provision of financial services to consumers and supervises the honest and efficient operation of the capital markets. Our aim is to improve consumers’ and the business sector’s confidence in the financial markets, both in the Netherlands and abroad. In performing this task the AFM contributes to the prosperity and economic reputation of the Netherlands.
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As an independent market conduct authority, we contribute to a sustainable financial system and prosperity in the Netherlands.