The annual name and shame file this year reads like an ode to fallen soldiers.
In total, 18 companies have been suspended from trading on the Australian Securities Exchange for failing to pay the annual listing fees.
Most haven’t traded for quite some time. The roll-call includes names like property group Becton (BEC), that tipped over in the construction slowdown along with a mining services group that hit the wall well before the crisis now creating havoc in the sector.
Henry Walker Eltin (HWE) imploded during the midst of the mining boom and had most of its business bought by Leighton (LEI) which, in turn, offloaded it to BHP (BHP). But the shell has remained.
Other well known names that have fallen on hard times include Gunns (GNS), once the pride of Tasmania but more recently in the news for the fact that former chairman John Gay received a glowing character reference from the judge sentencing him on insider trading charges.
Refrigeration outfit Hastie Group (HST), which collapsed more than a year ago after “accounting irregularities” came to light, finally has been sin binned by the ASX along with the company that once was Australia’s only listed pearl farmer, Arafura (APB).
Weapons technology outfit Metal Storm (MST), a company more adept at a media blitz than actual combat, and now held by captive by administrators, also has been buried without so much as a 21 gun salute.