ASIC aims to stamp out 'dubious' share offers

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is aiming to take on companies who make below-market-value offers to shareholders.

New legislation is going before parliament to prohibit a practice that has already affected shareholders in major companies like AMP and AXA Asia Pacific Holdings, News Limited reported.

According to ASIC, about 90,000 unsolicited share offers were made to AMP and AXA shareholders between July and September, with Hassle Free Share Sales among the companies making below-market-value offers.

The corporate watchdog is aiming to prohibit such companies from accessing companies' share registers to make unsolicited offers other than a takeover bid.

Australians looking for more certainty from their investments could also opt to compare term deposits in search of the best interest rates. ASIC deputy chairman Belinda Gibson commented: "At last count, there were nine different companies making unsolicited offers for the off-market purchase of shares.

"ASIC wants to stamp out this dubious practice and will act to stop these operators when we think the law has been broken."

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