Morgan Stanley was fined 20 million euros ($22.1 million) by French regulators after the bank’s London desk was accused of using “pump and dump” tactics to manipulate sovereign bond prices.
The enforcement committee of the Autorite des Marches Financiers said the bank manipulated the prices of 14 French government bonds and 8 Belgian bonds in June 2015.
The lender also manipulated the price of a French government bond futures contract, the AMF said in a statement. “The seriousness of the infringements is also reinforced by the sophistication of the contentious transactions conducted by the traders,” the French watchdog said. “The traders on the desk knew that on June 16, 2015 there was high volatility and low liquidity on the market, which would increase the impact of their operations.”