French regulators fined Morgan Stanley by €20 million ($ 22.1 million) after a bank in London was accused of using “bubble” techniques to manipulate sovereign bond prices.
According to the market regulators, in June 2015, the bank manipulated the prices of 14 government bonds in France and 8 in Belgium. At that time, London branch held long positions in French securities and short in German, relying on narrowing the spread. However, the crisis in Greece worsened, and the opposite scenario was realized.
London division lost $6 million on June 15, 2015 and $ 8.7 million the next day.
To avoid the $20 million loss limit, traders bought futures on government bonds in France and Germany on June 16 to increase the market value of securities before they were sold.
Morgan Stanley said that they wouldn’t admit their guilt, and that such charges and fines would give market makers a signal that they could no longer insure themselves from risky positions.