Trader fined over 'Gupta middlefinger' art

Johannesburg - The Financial Services Board (FSB) has fined a trader R100 000 for protest art against the Gupta family and state capture.

According to a statement issued by the FSB on Tuesday, James Gubb was fined for contravening the Financial Markets Act, following investigations that showed that on March 31, 2017 he had traded with himself Oakbay Resources and Energy shares, which created a “false and deceptive appearance” of the trading activity.

His trading activity displayed a middle finger.

The Directorate of Market Abuse (DMA) had referred the case to the Enforcement Committee of the FSB, which adjudicates on all alleged contraventions. The investigations found that the trades resulted in no change in the beneficial ownership of the shares and created an artificial price for the share. The transactions undermined the integrity of the South African financial market, the FSB said.

Gubb wanted his trading activity to reflect a middle finger, in protest against state capture by the Guptas and others. (Picture: Biznews).

In a statement made by Gubb in response to the case brought by FSB, he explained that the trades were a form of protest against state capture by the Gupta family, various state-owned enterprises and organs of state in South Africa.

“I traded in Oakbay on 31 March with the view of creating an intraday image that would aptly convey my contempt and outrage at the actions of such people, and bring attention to the relationship between the Gupta family and Oakbay.”

‘Mathematically elegant’

Gubb said that he considered several principles before executing the plan. These being that no profit would be made from the activity, nobody would be harmed by the execution and that monetary amounts would be trivial. “Upon completion of the trading program, the whole exercise would return to the previous closing price.”

After Terbium Financial Services terminated its role as Oakbay’s JSE transfer secretary on July 31, and River Group terminated its role as its JSE sponsor in June, Oakbay delisted from the JSE in July. It could not secure a transfer secretary and sponsor.

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