• Kyodo

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The Osaka Securities Exchange said Tuesday it has reprimanded nine more officials following a case of market manipulation masterminded by a former OSE vice president.

The action, which involves dismissing one person, demoting four others and cutting the salaries of the remaining four, brought to 12 the number of officials reprimanded in relation to the market manipulation.

The OSE said in March it had reprimanded two employees and fired the head of its futures and options trading department.

Former OSE Vice President Takuo Noguchi has been questioned by prosecutors for allegedly falsifying stock options deals between 1997 and 2000 in violation of the Securities and Exchange Law.

Investigative sources said Noguchi has owned up to the allegations, saying his conduct was aimed at making OSE options trading appear to be attracting more participants than the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

OSE sources said the exchange also plans to ask former President Kyoji Kitamura and the other board members at the time to return their retirement payments.

The OSE did not pay a retirement bonus to Noguchi, the sources said. But Kitamura has received half the amount stipulated by the exchange’s regulations.

The OSE may sue the former management to make up for the losses caused by the fake deals, they said.