Question 1: There are reports in the media today that Westpac could be facing a fine of billions of dollars due to money laundering. This is very concerning and comes at the same time as I am being offered the opportunity to buy new shares in their Share Purchase Plan (SPP). Should I still take them up?
Answer: Under the SPP, you will pay the lower of $25.32, or the weighted average trading price of Westpac shares on the ASX, less 2%, in the week leading up to the close of the offer on 2 December. This period hasn’t started yet (it starts next Tuesday), so you have no immediate market risk.
I will write more about this on Monday after I read the statement of claim, however my initial reaction is that any fine is likely to be less than $1bn (not billions of dollars as the media is so keen to play up) and that in due course, the market will move on from this issue. As it stands, I intend to apply for shares under the SPP.