12 Dec 2009

Urgent probe sought into 'unusual' share trading

6:24 am on 12 December 2009

The Stock Exchange (NZX) has asked the Securities Commission to urgently investigate what is considers to be unusual trading of Allied Farmers shares.

Allied Farmers is proposing to take over the troubled loanbooks of Hanover Finance in exchange for issuing shares.

An unusually large parcel of Allied Farmers shares was traded on the NZX on Thursday, and the share price closed down 8c at 20c.

Allied Farmers has told the NZX that it isn't aware of who is behind the transaction or why it occurred.

Investment commentator Brian Gaynor says he thinks the price drop indicates that investors are expecting the proposed deal to be approved.

While seeking an explanation from the broker who handled the parcel of shares in question, the NZX has referred the matter to the Securities Commission for urgent investigation.

The commission says it's awaiting preliminary information before deciding whether to proceed.

According to NZX data, about 353,000 of Allied Farmers' 38 million shares changed hands on Thursday. The price was still 20c at market close on Friday.