Listed retail hedge fund provider, HFA, has been forced to answer a price query from ASX after its share price rose 26 per cent in a sluggish market over the last fortnight.

On June 15, the ASX’s Issues Department in Melbourne sent a letter to HFA company secretary Amber Stoney, asking whether the company was aware of any unannounced information which might why its share price rose from $1.35 on May 31 to $1.70 two weeks later. HFA was also quizzed on whether it expected its operating profit for the 2005/06 financial year to be any different from the guidance it gave in its prospectus, dated March 31, 2006. HFA announced its reply before the ASX’s deadline of 9.30am the next day, saying it was not aware of any unannounced information that might explain the upward price spike. It said the only significant unusual item occurring before the end of the financial year was the expensing of its employee share plan, which had been noted in the prospectus forecast. Asked for any other explanation for the share price rise, the company noted it was the subject of a positive research report from UBS Securities Australia on June 13, however its share price had already hit $1.55 the day before and was rising. An ASX spokesperson said the bourse issued “dozens” of price queries every month. The procedure now was that the Issues Department would scrutinise HFA’s answers, and refer the matter to ASIC for further investigation if unsatisfied.

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