Standard Chartered Suspends Invesco Mutual Fund Sales

January 9, 2004 ( - Pending the outcome of the investigation into alleged market-timing abuses at AMVESCAP Plc subsidiary Invesco, Standard Chartered has suspended sale of Invesco funds in "Singapore and other markets."

A spokeswoman for the Asian-focused Standard Chartered bank confirmed this move, which was made in December, to Reuters.    The spokeswomen also said the Invesco funds it sells are not those affected by the US probe.

The move by Standard Chartered comes after New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chargedInvescoFunds Group andInvesco’schief executive with allowing numerous hedge funds to make improper market-timing trades in its mutual funds in December.    While the practice is technically not illegal it is discouraged by mutual fund companies as it can disadvantage long-term investors by increasing costs and diluting profits (See  Prosecutors: Invesco Engaged in Massive Market Timing Scheme ).

Invesco’s British-based parent company, AMVESCAP, has denied Invesco or its employee violated any laws and has said it would “vigorously” contest any charges against the company or its employees (See AMVESCAP Responds to Civil Charges ).  AMVESCAP, which says it tried to curb “harmful” market timing practices, also argued that its position was made more difficult without clear market timing laws and rules – but also said that “…market timing is a lawful activity.

Standard Chartered, listed inLondon and Hong Kong, mainly sells mutual funds in Hong Kong and Singapore.