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Commission findings due on FCL trading probe

By Nicholas Bryant

Thursday 20th April 2000

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The Securities Commission is poised to release its findings into trading of Fletcher Challenge shares and the investigation has extended far beyond the Kerry Hoggard share-buy episode.

Commission chairman Euan Abernathy said he expected to make an announcement about a range of inquiries within the next two weeks.

The commission's investigations began after Fletcher Challenge chairman Mr Hoggard was forced to resign late last year over a substantial purchase of the company's stocks one day before a major company announcement.

The announcement was Fletcher Challenge would unbundle its much-criticised letter stock structure; news which pleased the market and made a $58,000 profit for Mr Hoggard.

Earlier this month, his profits were paid back to Fletcher Challenge shareholders.

But Mr Abernathy said the commission's inquiries had been more wide-reaching than just covering the days surrounding Mr Hoggard's buy.

He said trades well before and after Mr Hoggard's purchase had been looked at.

Mr Hoggard's buy request was carried out by broking house JB Were & Son.

The firm maintained it did nothing wrong.

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