21 July 2023

Highest penalties to date for market manipulation ordered for Oceania Natural Limited defendants

Media Release 
MR No. 2023 – 31 
21 July 2023 

The penalty hearing for the first and second defendants in the Oceania Natural Limited (ONL) proceeding brought by the Financial Markets Authority – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko – was heard at the High Court in Auckland last Thursday, 13 July. 

Previously, on 6 April 2023, the Court found Wei Zhong and Lei Ding had breached the market manipulation and disclosure provisions under sections 265 and 297 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMCA): Mr Zhong had six market manipulation contraventions and three disclosure contraventions; Ms Ding had six market manipulation contraventions and five disclosure contraventions. 

Wei (Walker) Zhong was the Executive Chairman and CEO of Oceania Natural Limited; Lei (Regina) Ding, was a senior manager and marketing director of Oceania Natural Limited. 

The Court issued a results decision with reasons to follow.  The Judge ordered a penalty of $1.33m for Mr Zhong and $760,000 for Ms Ding.  

These are the highest penalties imposed to date for contraventions of the market manipulation and disclosure provisions in the FMCA. 

The Judge has reserved his full decision for later publication. The FMA will make final comment on the proceedings when that judgment is released. 


Case history for the Oceania Natural market manipulation case 

ONL entered liquidation on 18 June 2018 and was delisted from the NXT on 29 June 2018


Media contacts:

Andrew Park  
FMA Media Relations Manager  
[email protected]   
021 220 6770  

Matt Chatterton  
FMA Senior Adviser, Media Relations  
[email protected] 
021 241 7868