PETER Bond (pictured) has opened up on the reason for taking his company Linc Energy off the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) at this morning’s Brisbane Business News breakfast event at Brisbane Polo Club.
The coal, oil and gas company was listed in the ASX200 before Bond moved it across to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in December, in what he rates as the hardest task he has undertaken in his storied business career.
The Linc chief executive says it is too early to know whether his decision has been vindicated, but the unhealthy trading of Linc stock on the ASX had forced his hand.
“The ASX was good to us and we grew well over a long period of time, but we started falling into a trend where we became a traded stock,” says Bond.
“It happened over a couple of years and I tried a couple of things to push it out of that but at the end of the day it happened to Linc, even though it had a huge amount of offshore investment - 66 per cent if you take me out.”
Bond is critical of the ASX regulations which allow what he considers to be a form of arbitrage and says listing on SGX will give the company a fresh start.
“I rang my top 20 investors ... various billionaires you have heard of and I said ‘mate, what do you think if I shift off the ASX?’ You know what, every one of them said, ‘awesome’.
“Every one of the top 20, three of whom are household name billionaires, said ‘awesome’.
“Their view, as some of the largest traders in the world, is they could not get a sense of why the market moved up and down and they saw it as cowboyish ... it was giving them the shits.”
Bond doesn’t necessarily agree with that sentiment, but believes he made the right decision.
“Can I put my hand on my heart and say going to Singapore is the smartest move I have ever made? No clue as yet,” he says.
“I had to do something; I didn’t want to sit and play the victim. I am paid to be proactive and paid to be a leader so I lead, hopefully I did the right thing and I believe I did.”
The next guest speaker at the Brisbane Business News’ breakfast event is Flight Centre founder Graham Turner on Wednesday March 26, 2014.
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