Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Gentrack disclosure is warning to other listed companies

Gentrack disclosure is warning to other listed companies, FMA's Everett says

By Suze Metherell

Sept. 8 (BusinessDesk) - Rob Everett, head of the Financial Markets Authority, is warning listed-companies not to skirt continuous disclosure rules in light of recent complaints about Gentrack Group and Lyttelton Port Co, and has urged investors to manage risk as the stock market trades at record highs.

The regulator is looking closely at the disclosure of price sensitive information, particularly around private analyst briefings, Everett told the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association annual general meeting and investor conference in Auckland over the weekend.

In Gentrack's case, the utilities and airport software company slashed its profit forecast just six weeks after debuting on the NZX, blaming the delay in signing an updated contract and a dispute with a customer. The company subsequently gave private briefings to analysts, without making further details public until several days later.

“We’re still looking at Gentrack, so I am not going to comment specifically,” Everett told BusinessDesk after his speech. “The issue is a real one which is companies, including new companies who may not have quite the experience of how to handle this as others, do need to be incredibly careful about that issue of giving information, or depth of information, to selective audiences.

"The point we’re trying to make is the boards and management need to be thinking of the shareholders first rather than shareholders after the analyst community because the analysts community is not a proxy for shareholders," Everett said. "So any analysts' briefings that aren’t held in a public forum or subsequently published means companies need to be really careful on what they do."

The regulator is also looking closely at how Lyttelton Port announced a proposed takeover by Christchurch City, which was effectively disclosed in a substantial shareholders' notice, without any price sensitive flag.

More broadly, Everett said investors need to manage risk as the stock market trades at record highs, with the benchmark index having gained 11 percent since the start of the year. He invoked former US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in saying while he wasn’t "taking the punch away when the party got started", he was "turning down the music”.

"When you’ve had a steadily rising market, some people may feel they’re missing the boat and they want to jump in," Everett said. "We’re not saying to people don’t invest, we’re just saying always be aware, particularly when you’re at the top of the market that things can turn."

Also speaking at the conference was NZX chief executive Tim Bennett. The local bourse has benefited from a flurry of listings, with nine new companies debuting since the start of the year, which he said is deepening the markets.

Bennett said the stock market operator was becoming more effective at enforcing its own rules but rules didn’t make good companies, and good governance in boards and management played a major role.

The local bourse is also looking to see the next generation begin to more actively invest, as much of their Kiwisaver funds were invested through equities, Bennett said.

Among other speakers, Shamubeel Eaqub, principal economist at the NZIER, warned of an uneven domestic and global economic recovery since the global financial crisis, saying the "long shadow of recession" would linger, and investors needed "nimble and agile" portfolios.

Richard Phillips, marketing manager at Xero, Peter Mence, chief executive of Argosy Property, Simon Challies, managing director at Ryman Healthcare and Simon Mackenzie chief executive of Vector, all spoke, representing major sectors of NZX 50 Index companies.

The association's AGM saw the re-election of board members Gayatri Jaduram and Lyn Lim.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>

ALSO:


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>

ALSO:

Mediaworks: Reaches Agreement To Sell TV Operations To Discovery, Inc.

New Zealand’s largest independent commercial broadcaster MediaWorks and the global leader of real-life entertainment Discovery Inc. (“Discovery”) are pleased to announce they have reached a binding agreement regarding the sale of MediaWorks’ ... More>>

ALSO:

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>

ALSO:

NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>

ALSO:

SAFE: Live Export Ship Carrying 5,800 New Zealand Cows Goes Missing In East China Sea

Livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 sent a distress signal at 4:45am NZT yesterday in the East China Sea. The area is affected by Typhoon Maysak. At 4pm a patrol plane spotted a lifeboat - with no people in it - and a man in lifejacket nearby. The ship ... More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwisaver Fees Don't Match Performance

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) today published an independent report into the passive and active investment management styles [i] used by KiwiSaver providers. The FMA commissioned MyFiduciary to test the extent that KiwiSaver providers were ... More>>