Cargill's Mexican unit, two employees fined for wash trades
CHICAGO Feb 27 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc on Friday fined Cargill Inc's Mexican unit for engaging in banned self-dealing in agricultural products and temporarily barred two of its traders from the exchange operator's markets.
CME, owner of the Chicago Board of Trade and other markets, ordered Cargill de Mexico to pay $60,000 for improperly acting as buyer and seller in the same transactions, a practice known as wash trading, according to a disciplinary notice.
On six days between June 2013 and January 2014, Cargill de Mexico employees placed opposing buy and sell orders to transfer positions from one company account to another, the notice said. Three of the transactions impacted open interest in the hard red winter wheat futures market.
Representatives for Cargill, one of the world's top commodity traders, in the United States and Mexico could not immediately be reached for comment. Cargill de Mexico did not admit or deny the violations, according to CME's notice.
Two traders, Jesus Avila and Jose Gamboa, were each fined $10,000 for engaging in wash trades in agricultural markets and banned from trading at CME for five business days starting on Friday, according to separate disciplinary notices with the same file number as the Cargill de Mexico violation.
Disciplinary notices with the same file number are related to the same action, according to CME, which does not comment on specific violations.
On four days between June 2013 and September 2013, Gamboa executed electronic transactions in agricultural products with the same "beneficial ownership" on both sides of the transactions, CME said. Avila did the same on two days from July 2013 to August 2013.
Neither trader admitted or denied to the violations, according to CME notices.
Cargill Mexico formally began operations in 1965, focusing primarily on agriculture. Now, nine Cargill business units hold operations in Mexico, employing more than 1,750 people in 13 states, with a total of 30 facilities, according to the company's website.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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