JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Africa’s biggest bourse, has sacked the head of its equity derivatives business for irregular trading on his own account.
Allan Thomson was dismissed last Friday following an investigation into his trading activity and a disciplinary process, exchange operator JSE Ltd said in a statement.
Thomson said he had not been fired for insider trading.
“I’ve broken internal JSE rules. There is no insider trading. It was not for my own benefit,” he said in a telephone interview.
“There was an error of judgment. I took the law into my own hands.”
Thomson said he put in a “blocking order” to counter certain irregular trading activity in equity derivatives, but instead of using the normal process, he used his own trading account.
“I tried to put in a blocking order and I did it from my own account,” Thomson said.
“There’s no doubt from a regulator’s point of view . . . there were other channels and better channels to address what we deemed was an irregularity in the market.”
The other members on his team were aware that he used his account, he said.
Graham Smale, currently directory of interest rate products, will take over Thomson’s duties until a permanent replacement is found, the JSE said.
JSE chief executive Russell Loubser was not immediately available for comment.
Shares of the JSE were little changed at 72 rand at 0822GMT. —Reuters