The West

Fifth Element Resources should be able to update market regulators on its mystery shareholders and whether it is compliant with listing rules within days after the corporate watchdog fired off tracing notices to nominee holders of 50.5 per cent of its equity.

Records show the Australian Securities and Investments Commission sent tracing notices to HSBC Custody Nominees, Pershing Australia Nominees and ABN AMRO Clearing Nominees on July 10, and again this week. The notices require the nominees to disclose the names and holdings of beneficial owners of Fifth Element shares.

The Australian Securities Exchange suspended trading in Fifth Element shares on Tuesday, halting a spectacular rise which saw the stock surge from its 20� May float price to $7.96 by Monday night, pending a review of the explorer's compliance with admission rules.

The review was called in the wake of _WestBusiness _questioning the ASX whether Fifth Element met the spread requirements on listing, after a July 3 disclosure appeared to show it had only 13 shareholders.

Three of those holders are nominee companies, which could each contain a number of beneficial stock owners. It is unclear whether those holders would count towards ASX listing rules. But disclosure of their names could clear up suspicions Fifth Element's scrip price is inflated because of a lack of shareholders.

Fifth Element will be advised of the identities of the beneficial owners of the shares, enabling it to relay the information to the market ahead of a potential return to trading.

ASIC confirmed it had issued the tracing notices, but would not say who had requested it do so.

The West Australian

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