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French watchdog fines H2O Asset Management, executives over Tennor investments

General view of the headquarters of the AMF, France's stock market regulator, in Paris

(Reuters) - France's financial markets watchdog AMF said on Tuesday it had fined H2O Asset Management and two of its managers close to 100 million euros ($105 million) in total for several breaches linked to investments in illiquid Tennor Holding assets.

H2O in 2019 became the subject of market and regulatory concern over its investments in illiquid bonds issued by several companies related to German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst, who owns Tennor.

The London-based investment firm was fined 75 million euros, while the two managers need to pay 15 million and 3 million euros respectively, the AMF said, adding the decision could still be appealed.

H2O did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment by phone and email.

The AMF in its decision said the financial penalties would be accompanied by disciplinary sanctions, citing several failings related to the acquisition and management of the Tennor assets.

H2O in 2020 was urged by the watchdog to suspend some of its funds, as they were deemed insecure.

($1 = 0.9481 euros)

(Reporting by Juliette Portala, editing by Tassilo Hummel and Mark Potter)