Things atremble at Trimble joint

Things atremble at Trimble joint

Knickers are in a twist at listed strip club and brothel landlord Planet Platinum, where director-to-be Rob "The Robot" Bottazzi has withdrawn his consent to join the company's board.

Bottazzi was approved by shareholders at a meeting in June and CBD previously understood he was merely awaiting the tick of approval from liquor licensing authorities.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation gets to run the ruler over would-be board-table denizens at Planet Platinum because the company's Showgirls Bar 20, on Melbourne sin strip King Street, offers what is euphemistically described as "sexually explicit entertainment". It is also the landlord of the Daily Planet brothel in Elsternwick.

Melbourne's pole-dancing venues are alive with speculation Bottazzi has been offered another gig on King Street - something Bottazzi denies.

Bottazzi told CBD he pulled out because "a couple of other things came up that I want to do".

While admitting he "probably would have done a few things a bit differently" at the strip club, he said things were "still very amicable" with Planet Platinum's majority owner and executive chairman, John Trimble.

For his part, Trimble said Bottazzi "just said he didn't like the changes we're putting in, that's it".

Trimble said a replacement application was filed with the VCGLR on Monday.

"We've had another director put his hand up, a guy who works in-house," he said.

That would bring the number of directors to three, the minimum set by ASX standards.

But it might not be enough to give flesh to minority shareholder hopes that the company will soon be able to end its long-running suspension from the exchange.

The ASX also requires that a majority of directors be independent. "You need three directors total, but we'll probably end up with four," Trimble said.

Sinking ship

Seven West regulatory affairs boss Bridget Fair may have climbed on board the good ship iSelect, but a host of institutional investors have lost patience and leapt from the forecastle.

A substantial shareholder notice filed last week by Fidelity Investments shows 17 funds have dumped their iSelect stock and others have reduced their exposure to the dud float.

Among those making for the lifeboat are MLC, which has dumped 1.2 million shares, British bank Barclays and IBM Japan's pension plan.

What puzzles CBD is the fact that some instos have chosen to stay in the year's most disappointing float.

iSelect's share price has sunk like an anchor since the company made its much-hyped market debut at $1.85 in June.

At Monday's closing price of $1.28, the country's biggest industry super fund, AustralianSuper, has lost $1.9 million by holding on to its 1.3 per cent of iSelect. A spokeswoman said the fund didn't comment on individual stocks.

Spare a thought also for those poor souls in the Rio Tinto Staff Super Fund, which holds 309,000 iSelect shares, for a loss of $176,000.

Animated anger

More mockery from disgruntled customers, who have twice more fired YouTube volleys at Commonwealth Bank boss Ian Narev. The internet insurgents first redubbed a version of Narev's childhood appearance on Kiwi TV drama Children of Fire Mountain, but now they've moved to animated clips to get their point across.

At the heart of the attack is Narev's key role at the CBA during its GFC-era takeover of BankWest. Angry customers claim the bank deliberately defaulted business borrowers to clean up its loan book - something always vehemently denied by the bank.

The two new clips show Narev learning, from people who appear to be committing some sort of insurance fraud, why such an apparently counterproductive scenario might be profitable.

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