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Steel & Tube censured over 2009 disclosure breach

Steel & Tube Holdings [NZX: STU], which manufacturers steel building products, has been censured by the stock exchange's NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal after it failed to vote on the election of a director in 2009.

The Wellington-based company settled with NZX over the 2009 appointment of Dave Taylor to the Steel & Tube board which wasn't voted on by shareholders until last year's annual meeting. At the time, Taylor should have retired at the meeting and his appointment put to shareholders, though that didn't happen until 2013.

The NZX watchdog approved a settlement between the stock exchange operator and Steel & Tube which included a public censure, a $12,000 penalty plus costs, saying the company's majority shareholder at the time probably would have approved Taylor's appointment, and that since the breach Steel & Tube's board and management have undergone significant change and introduced new processes and procedures that included company compliance.

"The tribunal has previously stated that a breach of the corporate governance provisions of the rules is a serious matter," the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal said in a statement. "They are of vital importance to the integrity of the market and to give investors confidence that directors have been appointed to represent shareholder interests."

Steel & Tube was also ticked off for not announcing the resignation of a senior manager in June 2013 or notifying the stock exchange for changing its registered address, though both breaches were deemed minor. The exchange only became aware of the breach in January this year.

The shares increased 0.3 percent to $3.09, and have edged up 1.3 percent this year. The stock is rated an average 'sell' based on four analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $3.16.

(BusinessDesk)