David Jones in Brisbane
David Jones in Brisbane Kieran Salsone

Card concerns trigger DJs halt

DAVID Jones went into a trading halt yesterday as companies reacted to a crackdown on continuous disclosure by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Company executives cautioned against reading too much into yesterday's halt, triggered by a report repeating analyst forecasts that earnings from its credit card business might halve when its joint venture with American Express converts to profit-sharing after the 2013 financial year.

''While the company does not believe there has been any leak of confidential information by the company and that the speculation is based on publicly available information, the company considers a trading halt to be appropriate,'' a David Jones statement said.

On Sunday, ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft said penalties for continuous disclosure breaches should be increased after the commission fined construction company Leighton $300,000 over the tardy disclosure of a $900 million hole in its accounts in April last year.

The disclosure, and an associated $757 million emergency capital raising, sent Leighton stock into free fall, carving 11.9 per cent from its price when it came out of a trading halt.

Read more at Brisbanetimes.com.au

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