ASIC blocks insurer’s latest floatation attempt

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For the second time this year, a desperate Australian insurer has been halted from floating on the Australian Securities Exchange after the intervention of ASIC.
According to reports in The Australian, struggling Perth-based Insured Group have been hit with an interim stop order preventing the sale of shares under its latest prospectus, raising doubts over its proposed listing on August 30. 

The insurance company was seeking just $2.25 million, with all the proceeds, except the costs of the offer, to go towards reducing debts. 

It is the second time it has been blocked, after a prospectus issued in May was subject to a similar stop order. ASIC has not publicly provided reasons for its actions, but Insured Group will be prevented from issuing shares and from listing on the ASX unless its issues with the regulator are resolved.

Insured Group, who are currently trading on the New Zealand Exchange, has a patchy history on the sharemarket. In February it was fined $50,000 after the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal found it had failed to release its annual report within the required time-frame and that a subsequent notice of meeting lacked sufficient data to enable investors to properly vote.

In 2010 it was fined for failing to have at least two NZ-based directors on its board, according to The Australian.

Insured Group, which manages a network of insurance brokers operating under the brand ACI Broking, is seeking to switch its listing to the Australian sharemarket because of a lack of trading interest in New Zealand.

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