Newcrest Mining leaves the Toronto exchange

Australian gold company Newcrest (ASX: NCM), (TSX: NM), one of the world’s top five bullion producers, confirmed Thursday it is delisting its shares from the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on September 4.

The Melbourne-based company said in a statement that this decision was made on the basis that “anticipated benefits of the listing have not been realized to date.” Newcrest added it believed that maintaining the TSX listing would not deliver significant future value for the company.

Its ordinary shares will continue to be traded on the ASX and the Port Moresby Stock Exchange, in Papua New Guinea.

As most gold miners, Newcrest has been hit hard by current bullion prices, which has forced the company to cut costs, fire hundreds of employees and close one of its Australian offices, among other belt-tightening measures.

Earlier this month, the miner —Australia’s No.1 gold producer— reported its largest annual loss ever, with write-downs totalling $5.73 billion.

But on top of the gold sector’s current issues, Newcrest is also under scrutiny for allegedly briefings analysts in a “selective” way.

In June, the miner’s shares sank 12% before it disclosed plans to cut up to A$6 billion in asset values, reduce costs and shelve planned expansions and exploration activities.

The suspicious trading 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 firm’s shares falling another 20%.

According to Aussie laws, tipping falls under insider trading and carries fines or as much as 10 years in jail.

Currently the Australian Securities & Investments Commission is investigating the case, while Newcrest is conducting its own “independent” review.

Newcrest has consistently denied any wrongdoing, saying in response to a query from the ASX after the June 7 update that it treats its “disclosure obligations seriously and engages with the investment community in a manner consistent with these obligations”.

Newcrest shares dropped in Sydney a bit over 2%, closing at $13.45.

Image by Wikimedia Commons

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