Son of Lynas CEO charged with insider trading

Malaysia – January 29, 2013
Nicolas Curtis’ Lynas plant in Malaysia is facing opposition from several grassroots groups in Malaysia and Australia who claim it poses a health and environmental danger.

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Oliver Curtis, the son of Lynas Corp’s chief executive Nicholas Curtis, has been charged in a Sydney court with insider trading, The Australian newspaper reported today. 

The 27-year-old investment banker was accused of conspiring with John Joseph Hartman, then a portfolio manager at Orion Asset Management, to “front run” share markets over a 13-month period, from May 2007 to June 208, by the use of contracts for difference (CFDs), the daily reported.

CFDs are an arrangement made in a futures contract in which the differences in settlement are paid in cash instead of the delivery of physical goods or securities; and give investors all the gains and risks of owning a security without actually owning it. Curtis junior could be jailed up to five years and/or fined A$200,000 (RM640,000) if convicted under the Australian law, the paper reported.

No plea was recorded as he was not required to do so.

The paper also reported that the younger Curtis was alleged to have bought two BlackBerry smartphones for himself and Hartman, and to have financed trades.

The case is set to be brought up for hearing on March 26, the paper reported, adding that Oliver was granted bail and would not have to attend the next court date.

He was driven away in a black Range Rover with tinted windows after the case, the paper reported.

He is also reported to headline Australia’s society news pages.

The married Oliver is also reported to have co-founded an investment bank, Riverstone Advisory, with his father, who is currently locked in an uphill public perception battle here over the RM2.5 billion rare earth Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) which several grassroots groups in Malaysia and Australia claim pose a health and environmental danger.

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