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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 August 2018

Dubai's DIFC regulator slaps fines on Al Ramz Capital and ex-employee

Securities brokerage says it has instituted new leadership and system enhancements following $205,000 penalty

DIFC-registered securities brokerage Al Ramz Capital and one of its former employees were fined by the regulator DFSA for failing to fully cooperate with an investigation, the parties said. Jeff Topping / The National
DIFC-registered securities brokerage Al Ramz Capital and one of its former employees were fined by the regulator DFSA for failing to fully cooperate with an investigation, the parties said. Jeff Topping / The National

The regulator of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), said it fined securities brokerage firm Al Ramz Capital and one of its former employees for failing to cooperate with its investigation.

Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), imposed a $205,200 (Dh753,000) penalty on Al Ramz, and the firm is also required to pay $100,000 towards the DFSA’s investigation costs, the regulator said in a statement on Monday. In addition, the DFSA imposed a $32,640 fine on its former head of information technology, Najim Al Attar, it added.

Both Al Ramz and Mr Al Attar received fines for “serious failures to provide complete and accurate information relevant to a DFSA investigation which commenced in 2014”, the DFSA said.

Al Ramz and Mr Al Attar have each agreed to settle the DFSA’s action against them, the regulator noted.

A subsequent statement sent to The National by Al Ramz said the fine was discounted after the company agreed to an early settlement of the matter.

“Al Ramz regrets falling short of its DFSA regulatory obligations in 2014, and that the DFSA subsequently instituted disciplinary proceedings against Al Ramz,” the company statement said.

“Al Ramz assures stakeholders that it takes its regulatory and compliance obligations seriously and that the outcome of the DFSA investigation has been subject to diligent consideration."

The firm said it has strengthened its systems and changed its executive leadership since the 2014 investigation, and it is fully committed to applying industry best practices.

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The fine follows an investigation by the DFSA that initially focused on trading on the Nasdaq Dubai index by Al Ramz and others, which the DFSA suspected may have breached aspects of the DIFC capital markets law.

The regulator later expanded the investigation to include further suspected contraventions by Al Ramz, including “obstructing the DFSA’s investigation and providing information which was false, misleading and deceptive”, according to the DFSA statement.

The Nasdaq trading by Al Ramz was not found to have breached the law, but the company was found to have “failed to comply fully with requirements to provide the DFSA with information relevant to the investigation and deal with the DFSA in an open and cooperative manner,” the statement added.

Mr Al Attar was found to have withheld certain information during the course of the investigation, the DFSA said.

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