Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – False trading and stock price manipulation were among the most common violations found in the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), according to the Financial Services Authority (OJK).
Other violations include the failure to meet regulatory requirements and breaking the professional code of conduct.
False trading is when a person or company creates a false impression of the volume of trade done on the securities exchange.
The findings are based on OJK inquiries made this year so far, from which supervisory actions were issued on 15 securities companies, 24 investment managers, 14 issuers, one public accounting firm and one public accountant, said OJK acting deputy commissioner for capital market supervision Yunita Linda Sari.
"Up to the middle of the year, the number of violations is approximately the same [as last year] but we haven't reached the end of the year yet," Yunita said during a live-streamed press conference on Wednesday.
Without robust supervision, manipulation can make investors lose trust in the local bourse, which can negatively impact the government's target of deepening the country's capital market.
Indonesia's capital market is considered to be shallow at Rp 5.92 quadrillion (US$404.7 billion) in market capitalization as of Wednesday, a steep fall from 7.26 quadrillion in 2019, as foreign investors dumped Rp 17.5 trillion worth more stocks than they bought so far this year, according to IDX data.
In regard to mitigating stock trading violations, the OJK stated that it was coming up with new initiatives, one of which was the proposed implementation of a disgorgement fund, in which violators would be instructed to return funds obtained through unlawful means. It also plans to increase market surveillance.
"What we want to do is restore the balance of information so everyone in our capital market, be they issuers or investors, have the same playing field of information, so no one is harmed," Yunita said, adding that the measures would eventually lead to the deepening of the capital market.
Calls to improve customer protection against potential fraud in the financial services industry became louder following investment mismanagement scandals, like a recent case involving state-owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwasraya.
Jiwasraya has been accused of mismanagement and corruption after investing most of its premium revenue from the JS Saving Plan, one of the company's insurance products, in pump-and-dump stocks. As a result, it failed to pay out Rp 18 trillion in matured policies due in May to policyholders.
During the first quarter of the year, the OJK issued 184 written warnings, 192 fines, while freezing permission for two underwriter representatives (WPEE).
It has also revoked the business license of seven brokerage securities (PPE) and six brokerage trader representatives (WPPE), according to OJK data published on July 8.