PNG Court allows Oil Search to resume trading

PNG  National Court has granted Oil Search an interim injunction, allowing it to resume the trading of its shares on the PNG National Stock Exchange (PNGX).
The company in a statement yesterday said it was seeking orders from the court confirming the validity of approvals it received from the executive chairman of the PNG Securities Commission in connection with the PNG retail component of its recent capital raising.
“Oil Search will update the market once those proceedings are concluded,” the statement said.
PNGX chairman David Lawrence yesterday confirmed with The National “that PNGX reinstated trading in Oil Search this morning”.
It suspended the trading of Oil Search securities on Tuesday last week “in accordance with directions that it (PNGX) received on the same day in a notice dated June 1 from the Securities Commission of PNG directing PNGX to suspend trading of Oil Search securities”.
“The directions to suspend trading were given by the acting chairman of the Securities Commission of PNG, Alex Tongayu,” Lawrence had said.
Tongayu in the notice said Oil Search had not complied with mandatory requirements to sections 116 and 117 of the Capital Market Act 2015 in submitting its fundraising proposal to the commission for approval.
He added that Oil Search decided to proceed with the market release and even opened the offer to the public without it being approved under Section 118 of the Capital Market Act 2015.
Oil Search, however, maintained that it had obtained approvals for its recent capital raise, completed on May 28, from the executive chairman of the Securities Commission of Papua New Guinea, Christopher Hnanguie.
“Oil Search has at all times acted properly and complied with all its legal obligations,” the company said.
“Oil Search disputes the validity of the orders issued by the acting chairman and will vigorously defend its position by challenging the lawfulness of the orders in the National Court of Papua New Guinea.”

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