Citigroup agreed to pay a penalty of almost $5.4 million to settle a South African antitrust investigation that said the US bank participated in an alleged cartel to manipulate the value of the rand.
“There could well be other settlements now that it seems the parties are prepared to come forward,” Patrice Rassou, head of equities at Sanlam Investment Management in Cape Town, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Monday.
Citigroup will make available witnesses to help prosecute other banks that participated in price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign-currency pairs involving the rand, the Pretoria-based commission said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. The agreement “was done to encourage speedy settlement and full disclosure to strengthen the evidence for prosecution of the other banks,” Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said in the statement.
The South African probe is the latest investigation into alleged rigging by the world’s biggest banks of the $5.1 trillion-a-day market for products tied to foreign exchange, which has resulted in more than $10 billion of penalties since Bloomberg first revealed manipulation in 2013. Former Citigroup trader Christopher Cummins and ex-BNP Paribas SA employee Jason Katz have pleaded guilty to allegations in the US for rigging emerging-market currencies. Both were identified in the Competition Commission investigation.
Full Content: Bloomberg
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