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CBL shares suspended as NZX probes information disclosure after FMA, RBNZ concerns

Thursday 8th February 2018

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CBL Corp's shares have been suspended from the NZX due to concerns the market operator's regulation team has about whether the company has given complete and true material information to the market.

NZX Regulation said the suspension followed engagement between it, CBL, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), the Reserve Bank, and a number of overseas regulators with prudential oversight of CBL’s international insurance business. It is also investigating CBL’s compliance with its continuous disclosure obligations.

"Based on the information available to it at this time, NZXR is concerned that not all material information relating to CBL and its ordinary shares is available to the market," NZXR said. "Furthermore, NZXR understands that the FMA and other regulators have raised concerns relating to the completeness and veracity of information that has released to the market by CBL. In these circumstances, NZXR is not satisfied that the market would currently be able to trade in CBL on a fully informed basis." 

"CBL has confirmed to NZXR that it considers it is in full compliance with its continuous disclosure obligations. However, while enquiries are ongoing and in the absence of complete information, NZXR considers that suspension of quotation of CBL’s ordinary shares is appropriate for the fair, orderly and transparent operation of the market, and is in the best interests of the market."

The shares, which were placed into a trading halt on Monday, will be suspended until NZXR is satisfied that all material information has been released to the market and that the information is complete and accurate, with the regulator unable to confirm how long that will last, it said.  

Yesterday, CBL told the market that its credit rating had been downgraded as it seeks to raise cash to deal with a mandated increase to its reserves from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Central Bank of Ireland.

CBL said the RBNZ had commissioned an independent report into the adequacy of its reserving for the French construction insurance business, triggered by the concerns raised by the Gibraltar regulator about Elite Insurance’s reserves, and a report commissioned by its regulator. 

CBL said the Reserve Bank set CBL Insurance’s minimum solvency at 170 percent, and required it to consult on any non-business as usual (BAU) transactions greater than $5 million. It also said the Central Bank of Ireland had issued a "number of directions and conditions on CBLIE intended to strengthen its capital base, reserves, and reinsurance security, and has asked CBLIE to commission an independent skilled persons' report into CBL’s French construction business."

NZX said today that it considers the information which CBL is required to release to the market "will include an announcement regarding the outcome of the independent report commissioned by the Reserve Bank, and an assessment of the implications for CBL of any requirements or recommendations set out in that report", it said.

(BusinessDesk)

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