Newcrest insider tip-off probe expanded

Are gold producers turning the page on hedge book?

In June, Newcrest Mining’s (ASX:NCM)(TSX:NM) shares sank 12% before the company disclosed plans to cut up to A$6 billion in asset values, reduce costs and shelve planned expansions and exploration activities.

The suspicious trading has prompted an investigation by the Australian market regulator of Newcrest and analysts who cover it, to find out whether the company tipped off certain analysts ahead of the announcement which subsequently sent the shares of Australia’s top gold producer falling another 20%.

Tipping is deemed to fall under insider trading, which carries fines or as much as 10 years in jail in Australia.

Newcrest has denied that it selectively disseminated information and the $8bn company is conducting its own internal investigation.

Bloomberg reports Monday the Australian Securities & Investments Commission will in the wake of the Newcrest probe expand its scrutiny and start making spot checks on ASX company briefings and communications with analysts.

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