Monday, 4 November 2013

Mariner robs the ancients

Listed securities fraud Mariner Corporation (MCX.AX) now professes to be in the retirement home business. Having purchased an unfinished project from receivers for $6m of borrowed money in September, a month later MCX announced it had revalued the project at $13m, based on directors' "belief" and "independent valuation". Hey presto, an immediate imaginary $7m profit.

On the 31st October, MCX was ramped 43%, closing at $0.15. In total 50,882 shares were traded on the ASX on that day, which is many times the average daily MCX volume, but still only corresponds to a few thousand dollars. According to the customary ASX price query charade, the ramp was a normal "market" movement, with this notion fully endorsed by ASIC.

MCX has been ramped 700% since September on next to no volume. The ramp allows associated listed investment company Lemarne (LMC.AX) to book its recently granted holding in MCX at the artificial value, based on which it can issue shares to granny investors, all with ASIC's stamp of approval. Perhaps Sydney Morning Herald can then run a column shilling MCX and LMC, advising investors not to "dig too deeply" researching the scam, but to "throw caution to the wind" and "enjoy the ride".

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