By Ian Neubauer

The Hedley Leisure and Gaming Property Fund (HLG) has been reinstated on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) after a 24-hour suspension connected to the collapse of Melbourne stockbroker Opes Prime.

HLG requested the suspension on Tuesday while it investigated the circumstances surrounding the special crossing of 10.8 million company shares last Friday. A special crossing is a trade where the buying and selling brokers are the same.

In a Wednesday announcement to the ASX, HLG said troubled Sydney broker Tricom Securities had been responsible for the special crossing. Tricom had lent the shares to Opes Prime and the special crossing was Tricom getting the shares back. The special crossing has since been cancelled at Tricom’s request.

Opus Prime became the subject of an Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) investigation last week after stock-movement irregularities were detected on a number of the broker’s accounts. Opes Prime had been viewed by investors as “the last resort for clients who wanted to try to aggressively increase the value of their portfolios using risky stock,” The Australian Financial Review reported.

Opes Prime is the first Australian broker to collapse in a decade. More than a quarter of companies listed on the stock exchange have been affected by the fiasco that has brought ASIC and the ASX into disrepute for failing to protect investors.

HLG shares rallied from a record low after the company was reinstated on Wednesday. The shares climbed 70 per cent in value over the last two days to reach $1.10 by 10:00am.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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