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National welcomes Cunliffe remarks probe

Hon Bill English
National Party Associate Finance Spokesman

21 May 2006

National welcomes Cunliffe remarks probe

The National Party welcomes the decision by the Securities Commission to investigate Communications Minister David Cunliffe and his public statements regarding Telecom’s investment policy, says Associate Finance spokesman Bill English.

“On Friday, the Securities Commission added another target to its inquiry into the Telecom leak

“It has already announced it will investigate the Government’s procedures for handling market sensitive information.

“An investigation into David Cunliffe’s statements is important to show investors that Ministers of the Crown, whose decisions can push share prices around, must use their power and influence responsibly.

“All the indications are that David Cunliffe’s power has gone to his head. Investors need protection from reckless politicians, and the Securities Commission has shown it means business,” Mr English says.

Ends

Attachment: Securities Commission press release


ATTACHMENT

18 May 2006
News release
Securities Commission Inquiry to Include Cunliffe Comments
The Commission has amended its Terms of Reference of its inquiry into circumstances surrounding the release of the Government's Telecommunications Stocktake paper.
The Commission's purpose is to strengthen investor confidence and foster capital investment in New Zealand.
The amendment follows the referral made by the NZX to the Commission yesterday relating to comments reported to have been made by the Communications Minister David Cunliffe on Telecom's dividend policy.
The terms of reference have been broadened to include that matter and whether it affected the transparent and orderly functioning of securities markets.
In its inquiry the Commission will consider whether:
• any person misused any market sensitive information relating to securities contained in the Telecommunications Stocktake Paper before that information was publicly available;
• any Government and/or State Sector policies and procedures for handling non-public market sensitive information relating to securities were appropriate and properly applied; and
• whether any person could or should have taken, or refrained from taking, any actions in respect of these matters to maintain the transparent and orderly functioning of the securities markets in New Zealand or elsewhere.
The inquiry will be conducted under sections 10(b), 10(c) and 10(caa) of the Securities Act 1978.
The Commission will make no further comment at this time.

ENDS

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