9 Feb 2010

Marac shares down over irregular loan

6:53 am on 9 February 2010

Shares in Pyne Gould Corporation have fallen more than 4% after the company admitted it will have to write off $2.5 milllion, due to an unauthorised business loan made by a Marac employee.

Marac's chief investment officer Craig Stephen says the loan was made in 2003, but was uncovered only last week.

Mr Stephen would not comment about who authorised the loan, or who it was to.

He says the loan was uncovered using a new auditing process that the company introduced in October.

Mr Stephen will not comment on whether the discovery is linked to the disapperance of his colleague, Grant Atkinson, the company's chief risk officer, who disappeared for four days last week before being found in an Auckland park.

Mr Stephen says the loan is not a police matter and the company will continue to investigate with the help of forensic accountants - and he hopes to have more details about the transaction later this week or early next week.

Meanwhile, Pyne Gould says it remains confident of meeting its full year earnings forecast.

Pyne Gould shares fell 2 cents to 43c following news of the irregularity.