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TUANZ to Seek Inquiries over Chorus Share Price Movements


The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) will write tomorrow to the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX), the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the State Services Commission (SSC) asking them to investigate unusual movements in the share price of Chorus Ltd (NZX: CNU).

On Friday, when a report by EY Australia into the financial viability of Chorus was received by the government but not released publicly, shares in Chorus Ltd jumped by over 7%. Today, after the report was rushed out on Saturday by Communications & IT Minister Amy Adams, the shares have remained broadly stable.

A similar trading pattern has been observed other times that Ms Adams has made major announcements, such as when she issued a Discussion Document on pricing for copper broadband and voice services in August.

"Looking at the graphs, it seems when Ms Adams makes a market-sensitive announcement, shares in Chorus move significantly beforehand but not after," TUANZ chief executive Paul Brislen said today.

"While TUANZ is not making any accusations against anyone, many hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake. The strange price movements in Chorus shares over the last year merit investigation by the NZX and FMA in order to assure everyone that no insider trading has occurred.

"Given the strange price changes all seem connected with government announcements, it also makes sense for the SSC to investigate the matter, as it did over the leaks about MFAT restructuring.

"Assurances are needed that people who may be privy to forthcoming government announcements are neither trading on that information themselves nor providing it to third parties."


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