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IRG suspended on overdue full-year accounts

Tuesday 22nd June 2010

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Investment Research Group, the financial services company chaired by former Finance Minister Bill Birch, had its stock and warrants suspended after failing to file its full-year accounts.

The accounts were required under NZAX listing rules to be filed by June 14 and the NZX gave the company until yesterday to comply. However, managing director Brent King said last week it would take two-to-three weeks to complete the accounts. He blamed a change in personnel for the delays.

King, who has lent his own funds to the company to meet its outgoings, said the results would be in line with its May 11 update, when IRG said profit from operations was about $175,000 for the year ended March 31, though this may be ”impacted adversely by write downs in the carrying values of assets.”

IRG’s website describes the company as “New Zealand's foremost provider of information, analysis and advice about investments both locally and in Australia.” Its chief investment officer is David McEwen, a former journalist and columnist.

In the past two years, IRG shares have slumped 90%, under-performing the NZAX index, which is down 60%. The shares last traded at 1.1 cent on June 9, giving the company a market value of $1.67 million. The June 30, 2011, warrants show no trading activity on the NZX website.

In May, IRG said it planned to approach its banks to reduce the amount of principal repayments it is required to make and to discuss its financial ratios “since we have very little head room in our interest cover ratio.”

“It has been a difficult year” Birch said in a statement at the time. “Our net cash from operations is between positive $15,000 and negative $50,000 per month depending on the trading volumes each month”.

King made an unsecured loan of about $120,000 to the company and may be called upon to provide more support, Birch said.

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