THE NEWS WRAP: ASIC to investigate Whitehaven hoax after $314 million went up in smoke

Corporate regulator ASIC and Nathan Tinkler’s Whitehaven Coal have announced they intend to investigate a media hoax that temporarily wiped $314 million off the market capitalisation of the coal miner.


The investigation comes after a false press release purportedly from the ANZ Bank, allegedly released by anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan, led investors to believe a $1.2 billion loan from the bank had been cancelled due to ethical concerns.


”If there appears to be a breach, ASIC will investigate and take timely and appropriate action,” an ASIC spokesperson told Fairfax.


However, the ASX has told investors that trades made at lower prices immediately following the false press release would not be cancelled.


US mortgage providers agree to $US8.5 billion in compensation for repossessed homes


Regulators in the US have struck a deal with 10 major US mortgage lenders, including Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, which will see the banks pay $8.5 billion in compensation for mistakes in repossessing homes in the wake of the global financial crisis.


The lenders have agreed to pay $US3.3 billion in direct compensation to homeowners, along with agreements for $US5.2 billion in loan assistance and write-offs.


In addition, Bank of America has agreed to pay US government mortgage agency Fannie Mae $US3.6 billion to settle claims relating to residential home loans. The bank will also buy back $US6.75 billion in loans from the agency and pay a further $US1.3 billion in compensation.


Television makers demonstrate smartphone inspired TVs at CES


Leading consumer electronics firms, including Samsung, LG, and Toshiba, have included smartphone and tablet-inspired features in new TV sets demonstrated at the 2013 International CES consumer electronics show.


According to Bloomberg, the move is in response to growing market pressure from Apple, which is rumoured to be interested in entering the sector.




The Dow Jones industrial Average dropped 77.33 points, or 0.58%, to 13,357.88 points. The Australian dollar is up slightly to $US1.0494.


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