CBA slams new rumour rules

Commonwealth Bank CEO David Murray has criticised a new Australian Stock Exchange rule that requires companies to respond to published market rumours. Mr Murray said the rule promotes market manipulation and threaten companies' capability for the proper conduct of commerce, which necessarily involves “keeping things secret”.

Mr Murray's comments follow media speculation that the CBA will announce up to $2 billion in writedowns on its Colonial First State funds management business. He has called on the Australian Securities & Investments Commission to intervene on the basis that the ASX is a listed company. He said ASIC “must take an interest” if there's to be “an orderly market”. The ASX managing director Richard Humphry has defended the new rule, saying the media has a greater responsibility now in reporting price-sensitive information.