x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Crowds gather to bury accused 'hoax' trader

Crowds gathered at Sulaibikhat Cemetery on the outskirts of Kuwait City Monday to bury Hazem Khalid al Braikan.

Kuwait City // Crowds gathered at Sulaibikhat Cemetery on the outskirts of Kuwait City yesterday to bury Hazem Khalid al Braikan, just four days after the US market regulator named him in an investigation into alleged trades made on hoax takeover news. Police found his body at his home just south of Kuwait City on Sunday with a single bullet in the head in what appeared to be a suicide.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had alleged that Mr al Braikan and his company, Al Raya Investment, reaped millions of dollars from trading around hoax takeover deals, along with KIPCO Asset Management in Kuwait and United Gulf Bank in Bahrain, are also part of the SEC's investigations. Both have denied profiting from the trades, which they say were made on behalf of clients. The SEC last week obtained an emergency court order to freeze more than US$5 million (Dh18.34m) in trading accounts under the companies' names after claiming they traded around false news of a purported tender offer by a Middle East investment group to acquire Harman International Industries stock on July 20.

It sent the shares 40 per cent higher in pre-market trade, the SEC said. The SEC also claims that two of the parties traded around a second tender offer in April, after a Kuwaiti newspaper reported that a consortium of Middle East investors planned to acquire a company called Textron, which also turned out to be bogus. Yesterday Mr al Braikan's body was carried into a corrugated-iron shelter where men gathered to pray. His body was then carried off to be buried.

One of the mourners, who identified himself as Khaled, said: "It is a terrible loss. He will be sorely missed." Managerial staff at Al Raya Investment were excused from work to attend the funeral yesterday. Analysis, b3