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Rinehart’s Hancock Loses Bid to Withhold Financial Report

Hancock Prospecting Pty chairwoman Gina Rinehart
Gina Rinehart, chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting Pty. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Hancock Prospecting Pty, controlled by Asia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart, lost a bid for an exemption from having to submit its financial report, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission said.

The commission on March 2 denied Hancock’s 2011 request for relief from having to file financial reports, including company accounts, for a range of periods as required by Australian law, the regulator said in a statement today. It didn’t say why the announcement was made now, rather than when the initial ruling was issued.

Hancock, the closely held Australian miner, has sought a review of the regulator’s ruling by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, ASIC said. The commission said it wouldn’t comment further on the issue until the decision is reviewed.

The majority of Rinehart’s $18.6 billion fortune is held in Hancock, which owns stakes in some of the biggest coal and iron-ore mining projects in Australia and holds rights to royalties on revenue Rio Tinto Group gets from some of its Hamersley iron mines. Rinehart is also a shareholder in Ten Network Holdings Ltd. and Fairfax Media Ltd.

Mark Bickerton, Hancock’s information manager, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.

Hancock last filed its financial statements with ASIC on Dec. 24, 2010, citing profit in the year ended June 30, 2009, of A$225 million ($232 million) on revenue of A$738 million.

Rinehart vs Children

Rinehart is fighting a lawsuit by three of her children who have accused her of abusing her role as trustee of a multibillion-dollar family fund and have sought to have her removed as trustee. Rinehart’s youngest daughter has said the claims showed the greed of her siblings and has sided with her mother.

Bianca Rinehart, who had sought accounting of the trust, was told by Hancock’s Chief Financial Officer Jay Newby she could have the trust’s financial statements provided she agreed that would be the last request for trust information, according to court filings.

Bianca, the eldest daughter, only received extracts from Hancock Prospecting’s constitution in response to the request, her lawyers said in the court filing.

The case is Hope Rinehart Welker v Gina Rinehart. 2011/285907. New South Wales Supreme Court (Sydney).

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