FMA warns on unsolicited share offers

Sean Hughes, head of the Financial Markets Authority
Photo / Mark Mitchell
Sean Hughes, head of the Financial Markets Authority Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued warnings about unsolicited offers that may be made by Share Buyers Ltd or Australian-based Stock & Share Trading Company Pty Ltd.

Share Buyers and people associated with it had requested the share registers for 23 companies with the stated intention of using the registers to make offers to buy shares from shareholders, FMA said today.

Stock & Share had made some unsolicited offers, including a recent offer for debentures in St Laurence of 3c for every dollar of debentures held.

St Laurence was placed in receivership in April 2010. Based on indications from receivers, investors were forecast to receive a further payment of around 6c in the dollar, in addition to the 9c in the dollar already paid to investors.

Investors were warned to treat any offers from Share Buyers or Stock & Share with caution and to seek advice from an authorised financial adviser, Community Law Centre, or Citizen's Advice Bureau, FMA said.

FMA had given notice to both Share Buyers and Stock & Share that it would consider requiring them, and people associated with them, to ensure that any unsolicited offer they made contained a copy of the warning in a prominent position.

The companies could make submissions, which FMA would consider before making its decisions.

FMA recently made similar orders against Bernard Whimp and people associated with him.

FMA said it was not aware of any connection between Share Buyers, Stock & Share and Mr Whimp.

"This warning is a signal for investors to take care when considering an unsolicited offer. Ask questions. Make sure you have read and understood the terms of the offer," FMA chief executive Sean Hughes said.

"We recommend you talk to an authorised financial adviser and find out what your investment is really worth before selling it."


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