Yesterday the Bundesnetzagentur, Germany’s National Regulatory Authority, announced that Uniper Global Commodities SE has been fined €150,000 for breaches of REMIT relating to market manipulation. In addition, two traders have been fined €1,500 and €2,000 respectively. The press release in English can be found here and in German here. The announcement is the latest in a sequence over the last few months, with the previous fine being revealed in January (see here).
As stated by the press release, “the manipulation occurred on the gas trading platform PEGAS, which is used by market area manager NetConnect Germany (NCG) to cover short-term balancing energy requirements.”
The press release goes on to describe the manipulation as follows:
“They were active on both sides of the order book simultaneously and used an “iceberg order” on one side to block other market participants long enough for the trade with NCG to go through. As a result, those participants were unable to submit lower bids, even though they wanted to, and NCG was misled about the offer situation.”
There were six cases uncovered, of which 5 were reported by Powernext, who operate PEGAS. The other was revealed as part of the investigation. The gain from the activity is estimated at €70,000. The press release also talks of a “violation of duty of supervision”.
This latest fine will likely further encourage the trend in the energy and commodities sectors of implementing and improving surveillance technology. This topic will be discussed as the forthcoming “ETRC” conference at the end of day 1 on 12th March (see here).