25 Jul 2011

Pre-tax share prices inquiry wanted

7:07 am on 25 July 2011

There's a call by MPs in Australia for an inquiry into share price movements around the time of the announcement of the federal government's carbon tax.

Radio New Zealand's Sydney correspondent says steelmaking stocks took a real bath in the months before the announcement of the carbon pricing scheme.

But in the few days before the confirmation of the details, the share prices of OneSteel and BlueScope Steel hit the roof.

As it turned out, the package announced $A300 million in special assistance for steelmakers to ease the pain of the introduction of the carbon tax.

The problem is the shares rose ahead of that announcement, suggesting someone leaked the news from highly confidential multi-party committee negotiations.

Now two members of the committee, one independent and one Green, have called on the Securities Commission to investigate the movements on suspicion of insider trading.

As it turned out, the shares gave up the gains after the announcement when it turned out the Greens said they had not agreed to the special deal.