* Tribunal found Left culpable of misconduct over research
* Left may take Friday's decision to Court of Final Appeal
(Adds details of case)
HONG KONG Jan 13 Hong Kong's Court of Appeal on
Friday rejected activist short seller Andrew Left's bid to
appeal a tribunal ruling that found him culpable of market
misconduct over a research report involving China Evergrande
Group, his lawyer said.
On Nov. 16, Left, founder of U.S.-based short-seller Citron
Research, filed an appeal to reverse "findings of law" and a
separate application to appeal "findings of fact", both made by
Hong Kong's Market Misconduct Tribunal.
The appeal followed an August verdict by the tribunal that
said Left engaged in market misconduct by spreading false or
misleading information. In October, the tribunal banned Left for
five years from the Hong Kong market.
On Friday, the court refused to allow Left to appeal based
on the findings of fact, said Timothy Loh, managing partner at
Timothy Loh LLP law firm in Hong Kong.
"Mr. Left is currently considering the possibility of
appealing this decision to refuse leave to the Court of Final
Appeal," Loh said in an emailed statement.
"Mr. Left believes that the decision of the Market
Misconduct Tribunal is patently wrong and, unless it is
overturned on appeal, will deter the investing public in Hong
Kong from engaging in the robust discussion necessary to police
listed company disclosures."
The tribunal had found Left culpable of market manipulation
in connection with the publication of a research report on Hong
Kong-listed Evergrande in 2012 alleging the Chinese property
developer was insolvent and had engaged in fraud.
It also ordered him to repay HK$1.6 million ($206,324) of
profits made while shorting the stock.
Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission said in
December 2014 that Left profited after publication of the
research report knocked nearly 20 percent off Evergrande's share
($1 = 7.7548 Hong Kong dollars)
(Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Muralikumar