Dutch firm pays $14M in US oil manipulation case

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch trading firm Optiver Holding NV says it has agreed with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Comission to settle charges of manipulating oil prices in March 2007 by paying a $14 million fine.

Optiver said in a statement Friday it had admitted no wrongdoing in the case against several of its subsidiaries and three former employees. As part of the settlement it agreed to a two-year ban on large-scale trading in oil futures contracts in the final minutes of a trading day — a practice known as "banging the close."

The company said it has replaced managers and strengthened "control systems" in order to be sure it obeys all laws in the future.

Optiver and the CFTC could not immediately be reached for comment.