* CFTC fines Bunge Global Markets $550,000
* Says traders had no intention of executing trades
By Christopher Doering
WASHINGTON, March 22 The U.S. futures
regulator fined Bunge Global Markets (BG.N) $550,000 for
entering soybean futures contract orders that were never
executed but which distorted market prices.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on
Tuesday that Bunge entered orders to purchase or sell soybean
futures contracts in pre-opening trading sessions on Globex for
the May 2009 contract.
"The Bunge traders sought to gain an advantage over other
traders," CFTC said in a statement. "By entering orders at
prices that were above or below the prevailing bid and offer,
they were able to move the IOP (Indicative Opening Price) up or
down, and in essence they were trying to see what orders other
CFTC found that in March 2009 two of Bunge's proprietary
traders entered electronic orders for Chicago Board of Trade
soybean futures contracts on Globex, a CME Group trading
platform, during its pre-opening session.
The Bunge traders entered the orders to determine the depth
of support for soybean futures at specific price levels before
the market opened. The futures regulator said the traders had
no intention of executing the orders and pulled them before the
open. The action affected the price of soybeans, violating the
Commodity Exchange Act.
The CFTC has been stepping up its enforcement efforts to
boost oversight of the market.
It recently hired a high-profile former federal prosecutor
for its top enforcement position.
The regulator also gained new power under the Dodd-Frank
law to crack down on sophisticated market-manipulation schemes
that had largely escaped its enforcement efforts in the past.
(Editing by Walter Bagley)