Finance Finance News ASIC fines Newcrest $1.2m

ASIC fines Newcrest $1.2m

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Australia’s largest gold miner Newcrest Mining has been fined $1.2 million by the corporate regulator over its 2013 mass write-downs.

Newcrest said it had struck a deal with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) involving two contraventions of continuous disclosure obligations.

The action relates to a series of broker downgrades of Newcrest before the company announced to the market in June 2013 a series of job cuts, production downgrades and $6 billion in impairments.

The Federal Court will now decide whether to agree with ASIC and Newcrest’s proposed settlement.

Newcrest’s share price plunged leading up to its June 7, 2013 announcement, raising suspicions investors had anticipated the negative news before it was made public.

A company is legally obligated to immediately provide the market with information that may have a material impact on its share price.

Newcrest has agreed to two contraventions of those rules by selectively informing numerous analysts about production downgrades and capital expenditure forecasts before informing the market.

Newcrest has not admitted to knowingly or intentionally breaching the disclosure rules.

Chairman Peter Hay said the company regretted the contraventions.

“Newcrest has cooperated fully with ASIC in its investigation of these matters,” he said.

“In addition, Newcrest commissioned an independent review of the company’s disclosure and investor relations practices.”

Newcrest shares were up 13 cents, or 1.3 per cent, at $10.11 at 1112 AEST.