June 19, 2018 / 12:42 AM / 3 months ago

JP Morgan Australia chairman resigns from bourse directorship over cartel case

* Robert Priestley resigns from ASX and Future Fund boards

* Though not charged, Priestley says cartel case is a distraction

By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY, June 19 (Reuters) - JP Morgan’s chairman of Australian operations has resigned from his directorships at the country’s bourse and sovereign wealth fund citing complications arising from a criminal prosecution over a stock issue the investment bank was joint-lead on.

In an unprecedented move, Australian authorities earlier this month charged Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG , Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) and several executives with criminal cartel offences over the $2.3 billion capital raising in 2015.

JP Morgan Australia Chairman Robert Priestley said he had stepped aside as the issue could become a distraction, even though JP Morgan had not been named in the criminal cartel lawsuit.

“It is likely that this matter will take some time to resolve, and as there are limits to the information that can be discussed at this time, I think the right course of action in these circumstances is to step aside from the ASX board to allow the situation to be fully resolved,” Priestley said in a statement.

“Given my decision to step aside from the ASX board, I think it is also appropriate that I step aside from the Future Fund Board of Guardians,” he said.

He remains the local chairman of the U.S. investment bank, the statement said.

Prosecutors have said further details of the charges would not be made public until after the first court appearance in Sydney on July 3.

Reporting by Paulina Duran in SYDNEY; Editing by Jonathan Barrett and Stephen Coates

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