A Swiss bank agreed yesterday to a federal court order issued here to sell off shares in five U.S. companies that the bank bought secretly for unnamed individuals.
In signing the consent decree, Geneva-based Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (Suisse) S.A. neither admitted nor denied the allegations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC alleged that the bank omitted facts or lied in filings with the SEC.
The five American companies whose stock was acquired through he bank were: Amicor Corp. of Atlanta, Hygrade Food Products Corp., Southfield, Mich., Florida Water and Utility Co. of West Palm Beach, Electro Audio Dynamics. Inc. of Great Neck, N.Y., and Princeton Electronic Products, Inc. New Brunswick, N.J.
The Swiss bank agreed to sell its won holdings in these corporations and those of its accounts within two years. Until they are sold, the securities will be deposited with an escrow agent in the U.S. who can vote the corporate shares in proxy questions.
What is significant in this case apparently is that a Swiss bank has agreed to obey U.S. securities laws.
Through the Swiss bank, 26 per cent of Hygrade common stock was acquired.
"The bank identified only itself . . ." the SEC said, "and did not disclose the names of those persons over whose accounts it acted in a fiduciary capacity."
The bank acquired 7 per cent of Electro Audio Dynamics, and 11.6 per cent of princeton Electronics, the SEC said.