Anonymous Analysts Are Wreaking Havoc in the Asian Markets

(Bloomberg) by Kana Nishizawa and Jonathan Burgos — An anonymous researcher releases a report questioning the accounts of a publicly traded company. Investors catch wind of it and sell. The targeted firm denies the allegations, but by then the share-price damage is already done. That’s what’s playing out in Asia this week, with reports on Singapore-listed Noble Group Ltd. and Sound Global Ltd. in Hong Kong erasing about $900 million of market value in a single day. For Andrew Clarke, director of trading at Hong Kong brokerage Mirabaud Asia Ltd., there’s something unsettling about that pattern when the sources of market-moving claims can’t be held accountable for what they say. “It seems too easy” for anonymous researchers to place bets that will benefit from the impact of their reports, Clarke said from Hong Kong. “That’s not a sell note. That’s a brick being thrown at a plate-glass window. The intent is to destroy.”  Scrutiny of anonymous research has intensified this month after the reports on Noble, a commodities trader, and Sound Global, a Chinese water-treatment firm, alleged accounting irregularities that both companies denied. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, or MAS, said it’s reviewing the report on Noble, produced by a … continue reading

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