October 17, 2019 / 6:34 AM / 2 months ago

Australian watchdog not to appeal court ruling in IOOF case

(Reuters) - Australia’s banking watchdog on Thursday said it would not appeal last month’s Federal Court dismissal of regulatory action against wealth manager IOOF Holdings (IFL.AX).

The Federal Court ruled the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) had not proved its case alleging IOOF had breached pension laws.

The case was the first originating directly from last year’s powerful public inquiry into the financial sector, which found widespread misconduct.

In an unprecedented move, APRA had sought to use the Federal Court action to disqualify five IOOF executives for failing to act in their customers’ interests.

IOOF shares had risen about 15% as of Wednesday’s close since the Sept. 20 ruling, and jumped about 11% on Thursday to hit a more-than-10-month high after it agreed on a cheaper purchase price for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group’s (ANZ.AX) pension assets.

IOOF is up about 38% so far this year and has outperformed the broader financial sector .AXFJ, which has advanced a little over 15% in 2019.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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