Zuckerberg selling Facebook shares; Coalition to cull financial advice reforms: Midday Roundup

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is cashing in $US2.3 billion in the social network’s shares, as part of a new share offering designed mainly to satisfy tax obligations.

A Facebook statement posted late yesterday revealed the social network is offering over 27 million new shares and Zuckerberg is selling more than 41 million.

The 27 million new shares on offer by Facebook would net the company an extra $US1.5 billion at Facebook’s last closing price of $US55.57.

“Facebook intends to use the net proceeds of the offer for working capital and other general corporate purposes,” it says in a statement.

“Facebook will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholders.”

Coalition to cull financial advice reforms

The Liberal government is seeking to overturn laws introduced by the former Labor government which tightened the legislation governing the financial planning industry.

Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos said in a statement this morning the former government went too far with the Future of Financial Advice reforms.

“The government supports the principles of FoFA, however the previous government’s reforms went too far, creating unnecessary complexity, imposing significant burdens on industry and reducing the availability and increasing the cost of advice to consumers,” he says.

“Our consultation with industry indicates that the Abbott government’s FoFA reforms will save the financial services industry an estimated $90 million in implementation costs and reduce annual compliance burdens by an average of approximately $190 million per year.”

On the chopping block include the opt-in requirements in existence where clients need to complete paperwork to continue existing arrangements with their advisors and the requirement to provide annual fee disclosure statements will only apply to new clients from July 1, 2013.

The best interest duty will also be amended to allow for the provision of scaled advice.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have lifted this morning, despite only modest gains on Wall Street overnight.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 40.5 points to 5242.7 at 11:53am AEDT. Last night the Dow Jones closed 11.11 points higher, up 0.07% to 16,179.08.

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