Japan arrests, charges SMBC Nikko officials for alleged market manipulation

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SMBC Nikko Securities' logo is pictured at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) - Japan's SMBC Nikko Securities said on Thursday that executives had been arrested and indicted for alleged market manipulation, following charges from the country's financial watchdog.

The brokerage unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc (8316.T) said in a statement that it could not deny faults within its internal management structure, as it acknowledged charges from Tokyo prosecutors against employees and the company itself.

The company did not name the executives, but the Nikkei newspaper said that Vice President Toshihiro Sato was arrested while five others have been charged.

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SMBC Nikko earlier told Reuters it was still gathering all the facts while Sato could not be reached for comment.

Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission had sought charges against seven employees as well as SMBC Nikko.

On Wednesday the watchdog said the brokerage allegedly bought stocks through proprietary trading to push up prices and keep block trade deals from falling through. read more

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Reporting by Rocky Swift and Miho Uranaka; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Elaine Hardcastle

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