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NZX lashes inaccuracies in Chorus solvency coverage

Friday 11th October 2013

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NZX, the stock market operator and supervisor, has rapped media reports in latching on to a lobby group's comments on listed company Chorus's solvency.

The stock market operator took the unusual step of explaining that it doesn't comment on individual issuers' financial positions, and that it has accepted Chorus's confirmation that it is complying with continuous disclosure rules. Listed companies have to adhere to disclosure rules, keeping the market informed if any events will have a material impact on their value.

The telecommunications network operator's solvency has become a bone of contention since a combined communications sector and consumer lobby group latched onto comments by Prime Minister John Key as part of their bid to stop government intervention on regulated pricing for Chorus's ageing copper network.

Key told a breakfast television show that without intervention Chorus could "go broke" under a new pricing regime proposed by the Commerce Commission.

"In this instance, due to the misleading statements made, NZX would like to clarify that based on the information available to NZX, NZX has no reason to challenge Chorus's view that it remains in compliance with its continuous disclosure obligations under the NZSX Listing Rules," NZX said in a statement.

The stock market operator said media reports repeating claims by the lobby were a "misrepresentation of NZX's position" in that it doesn't comment on individual issuers.

NZX typically communicates with listed companies to ensure they are complying with the rules, which can prompt issuers to make announcements, it said.

The stock market operator has made more than 60 enquiries regarding continuous disclosure this year.

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