Newcrest admits to continuous disclosure breaches, fined $1.2 million

Newcrest will pay at least $1.2 million in fines, admitting it failed continuous disclosure obligations after the miner briefed analysts on its market position before making a public announcement.

Newcrest will pay at least $1.2 million in fines, admitting it failed continuous disclosure laws after the miner briefed analysts on its market position before making a public announcement.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been investigating Newcrest’s conduct around disclosure rules regarding market-sensitive information.

The focus is on what the company told analysts immediately before its June 7 release, which included $6 billion in writedowns and production downgrades.

The miner’s shares fell almost 20 per cent after the announcement.

Under a settlement proposed in the Federal Court, ASIC and Newcrest agreed to an amount of $1.2 million as a penalty.

However it will ultimately be the court which decides the penalty Newcrest should receive after it admitted to contravening two aspects of its continuous disclosure obligations.

It is proposed the miner pay $800,000 for the first contravention which related to the expected gold production and $400,000 for the second contravention, related its expected capital expenditure for the 2014 financial year.

While Newcrest admitted it failed to immediately notify the market, it said it did not knowingly or intentionally contravene continuous disclosure laws.

''Newcrest takes its disclosure obligations very seriously and sincerely regrets the contraventions,'' Newcrest chairman Peter Hay said.

The company said the mistake came after it lost confidentiality in relation to the expected write-down.

Newcrest said it had commissioned a review of the company’s disclosure and investor relations practices last year and has since made changes to “enhance its investor relations policies and procedures”.

In commenting on its decision to commence legal action against Newcrest, ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour said:

“Companies should have regard to existing guidance in the market about how to conduct briefings to ensure confidential, market-sensitive information is not selectively disclosed.”

The parties will request an early hearing date from the court.

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