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Labour needs to tell investors what it knew

John Key MP
National Party Finance Spokesman
14 August 2006

Labour needs to tell investors what it knew

Labour needs to clarify how much, if any, information the Commerce Commission shared with it prior to the commission’s announcement of price controls on Vector, says National Party Finance spokesman John Key.

“Last week we had the spectacle of the Labour Government announcing policy statements to encourage electricity infrastructure investment one day, and the Commerce Commission announcing price controls on Vector less than 48 hours later.

“The result was that Vector’s share price went up 10% one day, and two days later it fell 10%.

“How on earth can such a circus generate confidence from either local or international investors, when within the space of 48 hours such conflicting signals are sent?

“The Government must say whether the Commerce Commission told it of the plan for regulatory intervention in Vector’s prices. If not, maybe it should ask the simple question of why – if even out of simple courtesy – it wasn’t informed.

“If it was informed, then why did the Government go ahead and allow investors to react to its announcement last Monday of its new electricity infrastructure policy statements?

“If the Commerce Commission did not inform the Government of its plans to intervene in Vector’s prices, then why did the commission not inform the Stock Exchange that it too had market sensitive information and seek a hold on Vector’s stock on Monday night?

“New Zealand has spent years ridding the sharemarket of its wild west image. What it doesn’t now need is for the Government or our regulatory authorities to trash that newly-restored image.”

ENDS

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