The Financial Markets Authority confirmed today that it is looking into a complaint that the chief executive of an NZX-listed firm has been commenting about the company anonymously in a sharemarket chatroom.
In a short statement to the Herald, the FMA said it would review the complaint through its normal processes but would not comment further.
The NZX has also been asked for comment from market disclosure perspective.
The complaint concerns Matt Hill, chief executive of NZX-listed gold explorer New Talisman Gold Mines. Hill has been banned from the "Sharetrader" internet chatroom for not declaring his position with the company, according to the website's administrator.
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The administrator of the popular investment web forum alleged Hill had been commenting under pseudonyms "Bullish" and "Epithermal" for several years.
"The site's terms clearly state that if you work for a listed company in any capacity whether it be the office manager or the CEO you must clearly identify yourself as such," the administrator said on the site.
"Should this be ignored, your user profile will be banned from Sharetrader and reported where necessary.
"These steps unfortunately have had to be taken today which is disappointing to say the least."
At no point was Hill's connection to the company disclosed.
Hill did not return calls requesting comment.
Sharetrader has been going for 20 years and can attract up to 30,000 visitors a day, the administrator said.
The administrator, who declined to be named, said visitors from NZX-listed companies, or sharebroking companies, were welcome on the site as long as they revealed their identities.
"If they are representative of, for instance, a listed company we have always had a rule that they need to clearly identify themselves - obviously with all the disclosure rules and all that kind of stuff," he said.
"These people are clearly identified, so there is no hiding or anything else," he said.
New Talisman Gold Mines is developing the historic Talisman Mine in the Hauraki Gold Field's Karangahake Gorge near Waihi.
Its shares last traded at 0.6c each - down 0.1c or 14.3 per cent on the day.
Over the last 12 years, they have traded as high as 0.9c.
During the year to March, the company completed a successful capital raising of $3.6m which enabled it to complete refurbishment of the underground workings, among other things.