RBC Analysts Appear To Have Paid The Ultimate Price For The Newcrest Briefing Scandal

The reverberations from ASIC’s investigation into the Newcrest private briefing scandal continue to be felt with the broker involved removing the analysts at the heart of the matter.

The Australian reports this morning that the Royal Bank of Canada’s “head of research Peter Main and analysts Geoff Breen and Michael Orphanides all left the bank shortly after they published a research note forecasting lower Newcrest profit, after being briefed by the gold mining giant to that effect.”

Under the Corporations Act’s continuous disclosure regime, market-sensitive information is expected to be released publicly so that all investors have the same chance to evaluate and react.

What’s interesting about the departure of the RBC analysts is that Newcrest was found, by ASIC on its own, to have been responsible for this breach and fined $1.2 million.

The Australian says that “RBC refused to comment on the matter when contacted” but the key for Australian investors in this case is that ASIC is seriously trying to level the playing field on the disclosure of information for all market players.

That’s good news for the Australian market and a signal that companies and brokers will need to address long-held practices or, like Newcrest and the RBC analysts, face serious sanctions.

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