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NZX complaints need better scrutiny

Damien

O’Connor

Primary Industries Spokesperson
4 March 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

NZX complaints need better scrutiny

A complaint to NZX of insider trading that seems to have passed by the Minister of Commerce should be a warning for investors in the New Zealand capital markets, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

Concerns have been raised by a number of Fonterra investors as to why sudden shifts in stock values coincide with increases in trades of the stock.

“When asked today in Parliament if he had taken any action, Commerce Minister Craig Foss indicated no knowledge of the serious allegation.

“The current model allows New Zealand's privately owned capital market organization NZX to investigate and regulate itself.

“The oversight organisation, the Financial Markets Authority, seems to take the lead from NZX Regulator as to when, and if, any substantive investigation should take place after a complaint is made.

“In my view this structure is totally unsuited to robust market oversight. This is a very small country and the temptation for traders and company investors to access inside information and then act on it is always present.

“I have written to the Commerce Select Committee asking them to review the complaint laid and other irregularities in the market over the last few years.

“If the National Government is determined to float shares in state assets on NZX, then each and every investor needs to know there are fair rules for New Zealand's capital market and independent oversight to implement them.

"The current structure does not seem to give that,” said Damien O’Connor

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