ASTER COMMODITIES DMCC
EXCHANGE RULES: NYMEX RULE 432: GENERAL OFFENSES (in part)
It shall be an offense:
W. for a Member to fail to diligently supervise its employees and agents in the conduct of their business relating to the Exchange;
NYMEX RULE 534: WASH TRADES PROHIBITED
No person shall place or accept buy and sell orders in the same product and expiration month, and, for a put or call option, the same strike price, where the person knows or reasonably should know that the purpose of the orders is to avoid taking a bona fide market position exposed to market risk (transactions commonly known or referred to as wash sales). Buy and sell orders for different accounts with common beneficial ownership that are entered with the intent to negate market risk or price competition shall also be deemed to violate the prohibition on wash trades. Additionally, no person shall knowingly execute or accommodate the execution of such orders by direct or indirect means.
RULE 539. PREARRANGED, PRE-NEGOTIATED AND NONCOMPETITIVE TRADES PROHIBITED
539.A. General Prohibition
No person shall prearrange or pre-negotiate any purchase or sale or noncompetitively execute any transaction, except in accordance with Sections B. and C. below.
539.C. Pre-Execution Communications Regarding Globex Trades
Parties may engage in pre-execution communications with regard to transactions executed on the Globex platform where one party (the first party) wishes to be assured that a contra party (the second party) will take the opposite side of the order under the following circumstances:
3. In the case of futures orders, the first party’s order must be entered into the Globex platform first and the second party’s order may not be entered into the Globex platform until a period of 5 seconds has elapsed from the time of entry of the first order.
Pursuant to an offer of settlement Aster Commodities DMCC (“Aster”) presented at a hearing on September 23, 2014, in which Aster neither admitted nor denied the rule violations upon which the penalty is based, a Panel of the NYMEX Business Conduct Committee (“BCC Panel”) found that it had jurisdiction over Aster pursuant to Rules 402 and 418, and on January 21, 2013, traders employed by Aster pre-arranged and executed trades in the Natural Gas Futures contract between two accounts with the same beneficial owner in order to offset positions. The trades were executed on Globex and the buy and sell orders were entered less than five seconds of each other. The Panel also found that Aster failed to diligently supervise its traders in a manner sufficient to ensure that they were familiar with Exchange rules such as through appropriate compliance training.
The Panel found that as a result of the foregoing, Aster violated Exchange Rules 432.W., 534, and 539.A. and C.
In accordance with the settlement offer, the BCC Panel ordered Aster to pay a fine to the Exchange in the amount of $30,000.
September 25, 2014
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