(Yicai Global) Feb. 28 -- Hong Kong's Court of Appeal has rejected a final bid by the well-known short seller Citron Research to overturn the verdict of its market misconduct after two and a half years, the special administrative region's Securities and Futures Commission recently announced on its website.
It also banned the firm from trading in Hong Kong for five years.
Citron Research founder Andrew Left posted on the firm's website a report on Chinese real estate developer Evergrande Group on June 21, 2012 that claimed the property giant was insolvent and would have cash flow constraints. This reports triggered a nearly 20 percent drop in Evergrande stock that day.
The SFC launched an investigation in 2014 and accused the report of presenting false and misleading information. In 2016, the Market Misconduct Tribunal ruled against Left, banned him from trading in Hong Kong for five years and ordered him to forfeit CNY1.6 million (USD239,296) he earned from trading in Evergrande's shares.
Citron Research then embarked on the two years of appeals that have now ended.
Founded in 2001, Citron Research has issued more than 100 short selling reports. The firm has targeted over 20 Chinese concept stock companies, 16 of which suffered a drop of over 80 percent in their share prices and seven delisted.
The firm claimed it has only ever failed in shorting two Chinese firms -- New Oriental Education & Technology Group and Harbin Electric.
Editor: Ben Armour