Ongpin-led Alphaland files criminal complaint vs Ashmore execs

Posted at 01/22/2014 2:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Property firm Alphaland Corp. has filed a criminal complaint before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against two executives of UK fund Ashmore group for misrepresenting a share sale.

In a statement, Alphaland, now majority controlled by a group led by former trade minister Roberto Ongpin, said it filed the complaint against Ashmore group executives Alexandra Autrey and Thomas Donnelly for violating the Securities Regulation Code.

Autrey was the signatory of a disclosure sent by Ashmore last January 2, 2013, stating that Singapore's Ashmore unit sold 49.608 million Alphaland shares to another Singaporean company owned by investment firm Credit Suisse.

The sale paved the way for Alphaland to comply with the 10% minimum public float requirement of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

However, Ashmore's senior management said it recently found out the sale of Alphaland shares were simulated, and it continues to own the 2.5% stake. The basis for the claim was a written communication from Donnelly to an executive of a party interested in buying out Ashmore's entire stake in Alphaland.

"This criminal complaint is a natural consequence of our disclosure to the PSE and the SEC as well as the Financial Conduct Authority of London regarding the misrepresentation," said an Alphaland officer.

If found guilty by a Philippine court, the Ashmore executives may be sentenced to 7 to 21 years in jail.