Regarding Finanstilsynets preliminary decision and notice of violation charge Golar LNG Energy Limited
Publisert: 2. juli 2010
Sist endret: 9. mai 2017
Enquiries to: Ola Aamodt Enger/Angela Nygaard
Dir. line: +47 22 93 99 41/22 93 97 15
Our reference: 10/5784
Filing code: 725
Reference is made to Finanstilsynet’s (The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway) “Preliminary decision and notice of violation charge” of 31 May 2010, and the response dated 18 June 2010 from Wiersholm, Mellbye & Bech (Wiersholm), representing Golar LNG Energy Limited (Golar Energy).
Firstly, Finanstilsynet apologizes for the mix-up between Golar Energy and Golar LNG Limited. Finanstilsynet confirms that Golar Energy not previously has published its accounts after the deadline in the Norwegian Securities Trading Act (STA).
As stated in the notice, the deadline for publication of the annual financial report is at the latest four months after the end of each financial year, cf the Norwegian Securities Trading Act (STA) section 5-5 first paragraph. Thus, the annual report for 2009 should have been made public within 30 April 2010. Public disclosure must be undertaken in accordance with the STA section 5-12.
Golar Energy made its annual report for 2009 public 1 May 2010.
In its letter, Wiersholm informs that “Golar Energy does not dispute the fact that the Annual Report was published after the deadline referred to in the STA, but disagrees with the stipulated size of the administrative charge.” Furthermore, the following is referred:
“All relevant information on Golar Energy's profit and loss accounts for 2009 and its
balance sheet as of December 31, 2009 was made available to the Oslo Axess market by
way of Golar Energy's press release of 26 February, 2010, disclosing their results for the
fourth quarter of 2009 and the whole year….The Annual Report was made public, consistent with the requirements of Section 5-12, 1st para. of the STA, at 15:09 hours on May 1, 2010, i.e.
only 15 hours and 9 minutes after the deadline….. The Annual Report was thus made
public on daytime Saturday instead of Friday evening. The information was provided well
in advance of the opening of markets on Monday morning, and cannot therefore have
had any effect as such.
The reason for this short delay was that Golar Energy experience technical difficulties
with filing the Annual Report. We attach an e-mail documenting that Golar Energy
received the auditor's report and gave instructions to publish the Annual Report on 30
April, 2010 as Exhibit 3.
A comparison between the contents of Exhibits 1 and 2 further illustrates that there were
no new information of significance in the Annual Report.”
Finanstilsynet finds that the company has violated STA 5-5 first paragraph. The violation must have been committed wilfully or through negligence in order for Finanstilsynet to impose a violation charge. Finanstilsynet emphasizes that high level of due care is required by listed companies concerning their obligations to the market. According to the above- mentioned information, Finanstilsynet is of the opinion that Golar Energy acted negligent by not publishing the annual report for 2009 within the deadline.
However, after making a renewed individual assessment of the size of the notified violation charge, taking into account the information from Wiersholm and also considering that Golar Energy made its annual report public before the Oslo Stock Exchange opened for trade again, Finanstilsynet asks Golar Energy to disregard the notice of violation charge and has consequently waived the charge.
Finanstilsynet emphasizes that any repeated violation of the deadline for financial reporting in the future, may result in a violation charge.
On behalf of Finanstilsynet
Anne Merethe Bellamy
Deputy Director General
Head of Section