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Sterling Energy - just how slack is the policing of TR-1s?

By Nigel Somerville, the Deputy Sheriff of AIM | Thursday 5 January 2017

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

This morning at 9.30am AIM-listed Sterling Energy (SEY) issued a "Delayed Notifications of Major Interest in Shares" RNS. The apology is commendable, but this relates to two TR-1 notifications received by the company but not passed on to the market for almost 9 months.

The company tells us that the relevant holdings were reflected on its website at the correct time, but that an administrative slip-up meant that the TR-1s were only released this morning.

This, of course, leaves one wondering what the Nomad, Peel Hunt, was doing all this time. Given that it (one assumes) will have wanted to be sure that its client's website was fully compliant with the demands of AIM Rule 26, did nobody notice that there seemed to have been a bit of a change in the major holdings of the company which had not been released to the market?

To be fair, at least the company has 'fessed up and apologised, stating that the gap in its administrative systems has been corrected. Further, the title of the RNS makes clear what has happened so one can hardly accuse the company of slipping it out in a way in which might be seen to have been sly. Slip-ups do happen from time to time, but it does rather raise questions over the policing of the TR-1 system.

And in that regard, one might cast one's mind to the very delayed notifications coming from fellow AIM-listed CloudTag (CTAG) and the dumping of shares by its founders which went unreported for months. And months.

It is all very well having Disclosure and Transparency Rules (DTR) so that the market is kept rightly informed of what the insiders are doing, but if nobody is checking what is the point?

The full text of the RNS can be read HERE.

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