FMG pleads case

FORTESCUE Metals Group Ltd has denied prior knowledge of the Federal Court decision announced earlier this week, which favoured its case for access to BHP Billiton Ltd’s Pilbara rail network. Company secretary Rod Campbell told the Australian Stock Exchange there was no correlation between the timing of the judgement and a rise in the company’s share price jump to $12.65 from $10.81 on Friday December 15. Mr Campbell had written a response to an ASX inquiry on that date, saying the company was not aware of any factors which could have accounted for the price rise. He conceded this week the company had received an email on Friday, which suggested a judgement could be handed down on Monday, but said he had not been made aware of the message before writing his response. In any case, he said, the information was not relevant. “The fact that there was due to be an announcement on a legal matter, the outcome of which would be unknown to the company until the judgement was actually handed down is not sufficient reason to request a trading halt,” Mr Campbell said. Shares in the company had closed up 2 per cent at $13.10 on Monday, closing down almost 6 per cent on Tuesday at $12.32.

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