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Quotations appeal

Yesterday's decision was the outcome of the first appeal by the Pru against censure by the Stock Exchange over the Mick Newmarch share options affair.

The original decision to censure the company was made by officials in the Exchange's Listing Department. The first appeal, which was concluded yesterday, was to the Executive of the listing Department.

The appeal committee at this first stage consists of the most senior members of the Listing executive, except for those involved in the initial investigation and decision.

The Pru can now appeal to the Quotations Committee, which is appointed by the board of the Exchange.

Such an appeal is heard by members of the exchange who serve on the committee, but do not work for the Exchange.

Under Stock Exchange rules, the appellant is entitled to be informed of the reasons for the decision of the Listing Department or the Executive or both in advance of any appeal. Advisers are allowed to attend, but are not normally allowed to present their client's case.

The rules provide four levels of punishment for those it believes have transgressed the listing rules. The exchange may:

a) censure the relevant directors

b) publish the fact that those directors have been censured.

c) In the case of wilful or persistent failure by a director to discharge his responsibilities, state publicly that in its opinion, the retention of office by the director is prejudicial to the interests of investors.

d) If the director remains in office following a public censure by the Exchange, it may suspend or cancel the listing of the issuer's securities or any class of its securities.